Presidential office positively considers vetoing taxi law
Published : 2013-01-11 09:13
Updated : 2013-01-11 09:13
The office of President Lee Myung-bak is positively considering vetoing a recently passed law on providing state subsidies to the taxi industry, an official said Friday, amid criticism the measure is a populist bill that would cost the nation too much.
The ruling and opposition parties passed the taxi bill through parliament last week. It calls for including taxis in the category of mass transportation, along with buses, subways and trains, a designation that makes the industry eligible for government subsidies and other benefits.
The bill was to be transferred to the government Friday and Lee has until Jan. 26 to endorse or reject it.
"A majority of views are that we have to exercise a veto," a senior presidential official said. "As the bill will be handed over to the government from the National Assembly today, we will conduct a thorough review of whether to exercise a veto."
The legislation was among campaign pledges of both the ruling and opposition parties ahead of last month's presidential election.
But critics have denounced it as a populist measure aimed at winning the votes of taxi drivers while claiming that the law would lead to tax hikes amid the economic slump.
They said the law could cost the nation an additional 1.9 trillion won (US$1.78 billion).
Critics also say taxis cover only 9 percent of transportation, compared with buses with 31 percent and subways and trains with 23 percent, and therefore it is unfair to provide taxis with the same treatment as the other mass transportation means.
"If this law is implemented, the benefits will go to taxi business owners, not taxi drivers," another presidential official said. "Though the prevailing view is that we have to exercise a veto, we will listen to opinions of experts and other various people." (Yonhap News)