I am not a biker.
And I am not going to pretend that I am one.
However, if you would like to read a perspective from one that has a vested interest, and is articulated, yet have a quantitative slant to things, you ought to read Ian Tan’s piece on this issue.
I always enjoyed his writings. It has a lot of sensibilities about life, as well as the society we lived in. (add his blog to Feedly if you like!)
Some of his good points:
- In the grand scheme of things, based on the data he collated, this tax hike will increase 0.18% of the total tax collected. It is not going to matter much
- The policy makers are only concern about your opinion when the election time comes
- The concept of big bikes is an area that those making the policy, or for the matter most people with little vested interest do not understand well enough. From his perspective, they are safer and do not cause that much negative externalities that disrupts the society
- The rich who treats this as an acquired, yet fleeting interest, will not be shy away due to this increase, and that is why this tax makes sense. It will cause the least hoo ha. This will also affect those that make use of motorcycles as general transport less. However, the ones always hardest hit are those in the middle. They have moved up the rung, developed a liking for bikes, see this as a need in daily life and willing to spend a little more on them. Yet they don’t have super great salaries.
- The earlier you recognized you are living in a high cost city, where you have little vested interest the better it is for your sanity, and how you reasoned the world
What do I think?
I agree with almost all points.
I can still remember my first experience on a bike. When I got out from university to work, the engineer I followed owns a big Honda bike. I have not much choice but to ride with him to site. Riders can be safe riders. And you do feel safer on a bigger bike.
After a while, you can understand why they like it because, there are days that you yearn to be called on site so that you could ride on it.
What I suspect is that we are going to see more of these policies that affect the upper middle class in niche areas, so as to increase the tax coffers. The noise generated by the public will not be loud, it is somewhat more justifiable to charge these upper middle class more due to the relative levels of how much they earned.
From the Wealth Management perspective, the rules still remain:
- You take care of the bigger rocks first. Bigger rocks are those items that you value the most or has the most impact to your wealth. This would be your wealth machines, family, housing, vehicles and children expenses. Big Bikes, even before these hikes, is still something large enough, and recurring enough for you to manage well. Some people really need it, but they signed up for something that is more than what they need due to their interest in this area. If managing your financial situation is important, then this area ought to be reviewed.
- You can afford anything but not everything. And if you really value your bike, that is still ok. The unfortunate thing is that you can’t satisfy EVERY interest of yours to the fullest. This is the part that gets a lot of people into trouble.