Oppression Watch: Road pricing in the Netherlands

Well, alea iacta est as they say. Last Friday our government decided for all of us that road pricing will be introduced by 2012. The government of course presents this new scheme as a blessing for all, to wit:
To make sure motorists are not worse off, road tax will be scrapped and the purchase tax on new cars will be reduced. Some 60% of drivers will be better off, the government claims.

The transport ministry said on Friday it expected fatal accidents will fall by 7% and carbon emissions would be down by 10%. Traffic jams will be halved and the amount of kilometres driven will go down by 15%.

After which it will proceed to cure cancer and abolish world hunger, presumably.

But there is a bit of trouble in paradise. The Telegraaf, vehemently opposed to the plans, is running a series of article, pointing out obvious issues with regard to privacy, or the completely draconian measures imposed on citizens (suspected of) tampering with this magnificent scheme.

The road-pricing scheme includes the obligation of installing a GPS device (which one has to pay for one self), which may never be turned off. Each car on the roads will be fitted with a GPS device which will use satellites to monitor where and when the car is driven and send the information to a central billing point. Hence, the government will know where you are (or at least: Where your car is) all hours of all days from the moment the thing is installed in your car and turned on. Not only that: Ones speed can be monitored in real time, preparing for real time enforcement of speed limits, another steady source of income.

The ministry said on Friday the information collected about motoring habits would be 'legally and technically' protected and would not be accessible to other government agencies. But today it was already forced to backtrack on that promise, admitting that data could be shared with other ministries and police forces (NL), of a situation required such.
If the "security of the state" is at risk, or in the case of "prevention, detection and prosecution of criminal activity", the police or the intelligence agency AIVD may [virtually] snoop around into your car.
For those that are of the opinion that Dutch government is rather meek in its punishing of offenders, there is good news. With road-pricing the government seems to have overcome its reservations against imposing tough sanctions (NL). The bad news is, of course, that this new found toughness is directed against the average citizen: Malfunction of the GPS device must be reported to the authorities within 8 hours, on pain of a a fine of €18,500 or a jail sentence of six months. That includes of course a criminal record that will last for 10 years. If deliberate tampering is detected, this may run up to €74,000 or four years in jail. Four years! What hardened criminals we must be, that such punishments are in order.

Missing from the reporting completely is the EUnion angle. As with the equally privacy-destroying 'smart energy meter', the whole thing is presented as a plan concocted by the christian-socialist cabinet of our would-be EUnion president. As usual the reality is even more grotesque. EU Referendum has done a series of posts in the past, explaining how road-pricing is the vehicle with which the EUnion will fund the Galileo project. Hence, this government is merely executing what their masters in Brussels have ordered. They are not our government, they are the representatives of the EUnion elite. This has been so for quite some time and will be so de jure when The Turnip comes into effect, December 1st.

We are becoming less free and poorer. Not because our own government (who we can dismiss) decided so, but because our supreme government in Brussels (who we cannot dismiss) ordered so. Freed of any accountability, they are in a position to rob us blind with impunity. What we are seeing here is the true meaning of the EUnion for us, mere subjects.

[UPDATE001] Isn't that just the coincidence: One year ago, to the day, I wrote:
Don't let yourself be fooled. Road-pricing will come, despite current protestations to the contrary. The EUnion needs it to justify the costs of the Galileo project and the EUnion will get it. Objections from parliament and assurances from Camile Eurlings and others are all sound and fury, signifying nothing.
And here we are, one year later. Being right isn't all it's cracked up to be, though... Would that I had been completely wrong.

[UPDATE002] For what good it'll do here's a petition against the governments plans for road pricing in the Netherlands: Kilometerheffing Nee

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