The 50% discount on Via do Infante tolls which, after all, are only 30%

Discount was applied to the original toll price, higher than what was charged on 30 June

Users of Via do Infante who expected to pay half of the previous day's toll on 1 July were disappointed. The Government, despite the announcement that it would lower tolls by 50% from the beginning of this month, it surprised citizens, but also the opposition, by applying the reduction to the amounts originally charged in 2011.

Thus, the real discounts, in relation to what users of this motorway were paying on June 30, are around 30% and not the promised 50%.

The Algarve deputy Cristóvão Norte, elected by the PSD, the party that, in November, presented the proposal to reduce tolls in the former Scut by half, does not spare criticism of the Government.

“This is the zero degree of ethics, regardless of legal issues. I have never witnessed, during my political activity, an act as lurid, from an ethical point of view, as this one», he accused, in statements to the Sul Informação.

Cristóvão Norte defends that the Government's decision “reveals contempt for the citizens, contempt for the Assembly of the Republic and a desire to impede the enforcement of the law”.

Is that this measure was approved in November at the Assembly of the Republic by almost all opposition parties, despite PS votes against.

 

João Vasconcelos at a protest against tolls on Via do Infante

For João Vasconcelos, also from the Algarve, this is “a tricky artifice” and a “little shame on the part of the Government”.

In statements to the Sul Informação, the deputy to the Assembly of the Republic and founder of the Commission for Users of Via do Infante, who has been contesting the tolls on the A22 since the beginning, accused the Government of “deceiving users, families and the Algarve”.

In fact, things would have been very different if the socialist executive led by António Costa had respected what, for João Vasconcelos and Cristóvão Norte, is the spirit of the proposal approved in December by the Assembly of the Republic and which is included in the Law. of the 2021 State Budget.

More than a political issue, this is an issue that concerns the purses of those who use the Via do Infante, since, especially on the more expensive sections of this highway, the difference between discounting using the value of tolls in 2011 or the one in force on 30 June is high.

When the A22 began to have rates, nine years ago, it passed the existing gantry between the node of Monte Gordo and Tavira – to which the section between Monte Gordo and Castro Marim – costing 2,30 euros. This amount, however, dropped to 1,75 euros, following a 2016 ordinance.

With the reduction now carried out, of such 50%, users started to pay 1,25 euros. But, if the discount was made taking into account the amount that was in force in June, the fee charged would be 90 cents, according to our accounts.

 

 

On the other hand, if the discount were applied to the amount charged two weeks ago, the price to be paid by users when passing through any of the five existing gateways between the beginning of Via do Infante, in Lagos, and Guia, would not reach 50 cents. Therefore, it is equal to or greater than this value in four of these sections of the A22.

Continuing the comparisons, those who travel the A22 from end to end now pay 6,2 euros, when they initially spent 11,6 euros. Here, as it is easy to understand, the reduction does not even reach 50%, although it is close.

If the discount were applied to the prices that had been applied before this reduction, making the entire Via do Infante would cost 4,65 euros, 1,55 euros less than now.

This will have been the Government's way of mitigating the impacts of a measure that it criticized and even tried to avoid.

“We approved this in November. And, since then, the Government has done everything in its power to prevent the law from being enforced», recalled Cristóvão Norte.

“First, it approved the approval of the PSD proposal as an illegitimate negative majority. He said he was irresponsible from a budgetary point of view and threatened to appeal to the Constitutional Court. Failing all these attempts to prevent the law from advancing, he pledged that it would enter into force as approved by the AR,” he added.

The law was eventually applied, regulated by an ordinance of June 30. But with a detail that made all the difference: the repeal of all ordinances subsequent to the original decree-law of 2011, namely those that stipulated the discounts that were in force until the end of last month.

 

Christopher North

 

In this way, considers the social-democrat deputy, “two neuralgic aspects were missing. The first, the effective reduction of 50%. The second, the increase of 25% [in addition to 50%] in relation to electric vehicles».

This last reference is the 75% reduction for electric and non-polluting vehicles, also approved in November, with which the Government claimed that it will not be able to make progress right now, due to technical issues, promising that “the regulation will be implemented in due course through an ordinance”.

“From a legal point of view, we are evaluating all possibilities and conditions, as if there is an opportunity to ensure that the law is fulfilled, we will not hesitate to go to court. If we have to go to court, we will not reject this possibility», promised the Algarve deputy of the PSD.

«The Left Block will ask the Government for clarification, because, in fact, it is not understood. What we demand is that this price reduction be made from the values ​​of June 30th. We do not accept this manipulation”, said, for his part, the Blocist deputy João Vasconcelos.

O Sul Informação tried to obtain an explanation from the Ministry of Finance on the option to apply the discount to the original amount of the tolls, but received no response until the time of publication of this article.

 

 

 



Comments

Ads