State Secretary Snel van Financiën recently answered questions from MPs Lodders and Hermans about the imposition of the BPM (Taxation of Passenger Cars and Motor Vehicles) on vehicles used in healthcare transport.

The answers suggest that Royal Dutch Transport (KNV) finds the measure acceptable, because there would be enough very economical and emission-free vehicles without BPM for healthcare transport.

After all, the supply of electric cars is good and increasing, says the State Secretary. On the basis of a report from CE Delft, KNV Zorgtransport and Taxi must distance itself from this position of the State Secretary.

At the request of the social partners in healthcare transport (KNV, FNV and CNV, united in the Taxi Social Fund), engineering firm CE Delft examined the developments in the supply of zero-emission passenger buses and the expected effects of the tax with BPM. 

Their report was published on July 23, titled 'Abolition of BPM refund for taxi and healthcare transport. Estimation of costs and effectson. The conclusions of the report were shared with the Ministry of Finance well before the parliamentary questions were answered.

Supply currently still very limited, not sufficient supply in the short term.

From the inventory of the market for passenger buses, CE Delft concludes that the supply of electric passenger and wheelchair buses on the European market is still very limited. The emission-free vans offered are not yet fully-fledged replacements for the diesel vehicles, due to the very limited range (in practice up to 100 km) and the high initial investment costs. 

In addition, the available electric vehicles can only accommodate a maximum of two wheelchairs. CE Delft also notes that the charging infrastructure is still inadequate and that it will not become available in the short term, due to, among other things, the long delivery times of charging facilities. In addition, in the current situation it is uncertain whether drivers can charge the vehicles at suitable places and suitable moments.

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As a result of the aforementioned matters, healthcare transport is coming under further pressure and this important link in the lives of groups of people threatens to become unaffordable.

The CE Delft research report is a reason for the healthcare transport sector to make a repeated, emphatic plea - or rather: a cry for help - for postponing the BPM imposition for healthcare transport buses. The healthcare transport sector is a strong proponent of zero-emission healthcare transport, but advocates a realistic route to it. 

Only when the supply of electric (wheelchair) buses and their operating and purchase costs are at a realistic and acceptable level can the alternative that is still widely used be taxed with BPM.

Also read: Royal Dutch Transport thinks there are enough alternatives

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