BU was advised by a reliable source that the communication attached to this blog was delivered to the office of the Minister of Finance (MoF) on 26 July 2016. The objective was to ensure the MoF received feedback in advance of the 2016-2017 budget. Contrary to the MoF’s advisement that he had consulted stakeholders in the private sector, we were again reliably informed that the joint committee representing the PSV sector did not receive a response from the MoF. Not even an acknowledgment.
Every business in every sector of the economy has been able to adjust prices to ensure they earn a reasonable ROI except the PSV operators. Unfortunately fare increases are regulated by government and in the face of rising cost the PSV sector finds itself with an ageing fleet and rising operating cost. The recent imposition of a 2% National Social Responsibility Levy will have the effect of increasing operating cost by a further 4% to 6%.
What is upsetting is the information reaching BU that the Nation newspaper was able to see the document sent to the MoF and published the following editorial on the 7 September 2016 with the title – Not the time for increase in bus fare. A read of the editorial exposes an obvious bias of the author. An editorial is meant to share the view of the newspaper we are told.
BU acknowledges that the PSV needs to be better regulated but it will only be achieved if all the players worked closely together. The corrupt behaviour of officials over the last three or four decades has not assisted the industry. There is a suffocating culture that has enveloped the industry and it behooves all the stakeholders to demonstrate leadership to bring the sector to heel.
Shame on the Nation newspaper and Roy Morris!