Tax investigation. Taxi ban? “Shithousery”

EU investigates Madeira Tax Free Zone again

Miguel AlbuquerqueThanks to Peter for sending me a link to Reuters, reporting that the European Commission on Friday said it had “opened an in-depth investigation into tax exemptions for companies on the Portuguese island of Madeira, assessing whether they constituted illegal state aid”. Under the programme, established in 1987, Portugal set up a regional aid scheme to attract companies to the island by reducing corporate taxes and providing exemptions from other levies.
“In particular, the Commission has concerns that tax exemptions granted by Portugal to companies established in the Madeira Free Zone are not in line with the Commission decisions and EU State aid rules,” the Commission, which oversees competition in the European Union, said in a statement. The Commission, which had approved the scheme in 2007 and 2013, added it was concerned Portugal was not respecting the conditions it had set out on those occasions.
In an initial response, Miguel Albuquerque, President of the Regional Government, said “It is not an offshore (tax haven) because it has no financial centre. Even a first-class student realises this”, referring in particular to the criticism of the International Business Centre of Madeira by socialist European MP Ana Gomes. “She deliberately does not want to know what the Business Centre is. She wants to play politics and harm Madeira. The MEP has been trying to undermine the economy of Madeira and its tax revenues. We have nothing to fear, because it is part of a normal context”, he added.

650 taxis to be banned from central Funchal?

Taxis in Central FunchalBoth the Diario and the Journal reported last week on the new mobility plan that could prevent the entry of taxis registered prior 2001 into central Funchal. “A catastrophic measure” was how the Industrial Taxi Association of the Region described the proposal, which they claim will prevent 80% of the regional fleet, about 650 taxis, from circulating in the city centre. A spokesman said “For all intents and purposes, what was presented yesterday (PAMUS – Action Plan for Sustainable Urban Mobility), in which it is clear …….. that the House intends to implement a ZER [Reduced Emission Zone] ….. preventing the entry and movement of vehicles prior to 2001 ‘, he stressed.
I am not sure that 80% of taxis in Funchal are more 17 years old?

World Cup “Shithousery”

Guardian headline: ShithouseryOne of the advantages of being Portuguese when a World Cup takes place is that when their national team exits they can switch their allegiance to Brazil, being the largest country to have Portuguese as its official language. Unfortunately the bookies favourites were also eliminated last night, but not before their current star, Neymar, had the opportunity to show off his theatrical, as well as football, skills again – on one notable occasion in his previous game he went down in convulsions as if he had been stunned with a cattle prod. One TV company worked out that he had spent 13 minutes and 50 seconds lying and rolling on the grass this world cup in just three group matches.
The efforts of a large number of players influence a referees decision, according to the Guardian, has given rise to the interesting appearance of the wonderful word “shithousery” to describe all of the dark arts employed on a football field. Not a new word – goes back to Liverpool in the 1960’s according to the Guardian write-up.

11 thoughts on “Tax investigation. Taxi ban? “Shithousery””

  1. If the Islands government goes ahead withe the reduced emmission zone, will thet make an exemption for the claasic car rally event? If the government want people to own newer cars, it has to reduce the import taxes to make them more affordable.

  2. The banning of older more polluting Diesel taxis should be followed in short order by buses with the same problem. When sitting roadside In a cafe by a Bus stop their take off must emit enough rubbish to ensure a shorter life for all those nearby.
    And of course the wider environment.
    What happened to the electric busses?
    What about electric taxis?
    I rode in an all electric car recently and it was very quiet and fast off the mark and hills. Ideal vehicle for taxi work I reckon

  3. On the football (sorry, I know the traffic issue is more relevant), it was noticeable in the Brazil-Belgium game that the referee had been warned about Neymar’s antics and had decided that he would wave play on no matter what happened to Neymar. Maybe that will be a lesson to Neymar – but I doubt it.

  4. Funchal needs to have less cars in the streets and more safer places for people to walk. The street was designed for animals and people walking. Cleaner air in the town as well

  5. Addition to Pete.Also fewer (none?) of those large cruise ship trip busses that always seem to be blocking half the road when coming down the hill from the hotel area and having just passed the roundabout (where they are on the right and seem to be waiting with engines running).

  6. Stopping vehicles over 17 years old entering central Funchal makes sense, but an exemption should be made for veteran cars who are attending a rally or other type of event as we all love to see those old sports cars so well kept by their loving owners. Taxis and Public transport should be able to comply with modern emissions requirements and this is happening now everywhere, but change has to be phased to give adequate notice to those who will be affected.

  7. Portugal was slapped on the wrist due to the illegal import tax on cars by the EU. They got round this by slapping large “CO2 Emissions” tariffs on said imported cars thus guaranteeing that their income continues

    On the plus side, fully electric cars such as the Tesla et all have 0% emissions and cannot have any emissions tariffs charged on them, yet again technology and materials science trumps the short sighted fat fingered public servants of Madeira and mainland Portugal

    If I remember rightly, Madeira has a circumference of around 150KM, electric cars like the Nissan Leaf have a 250KM battery range along with excellent torque characteristics for mountainous regions like Madeira

    If your thinking of importing a car into Portugal make it an electric vehicle, it is a no brainer

    Regards to all

    • Everyone thinks electric care are green – WRONG! Where does the electric for charging them come from? Oil & coal-fired power stations which pollute the air. So, all battery cars do is shift the point of pollution.

      • Don’t get me wrong Maurice,

        I love gas guzzlers and drive a v6 diesel 300+ bhp saloon myself….

        It all breaks down to a staged transition to everything being fully electric bar none

        Centralised power production and the technology to filter out airborne pollution is much more acceptable than millions of cars pumping out said pollution and carcinogens all over the place

        I am an advocate of nuclear power “fission” due to it’s efficiencies with upcoming technologies in this sector improving on older 60’s technology in regards to fissile material and it’s improved use and safety

        Battery storage is growing leaps and bounds along with solar and wind power production. Modern petrol Internal combustion engines out of the box can achieve nearly 40% energy conversion efficiency with diesel being a bit higher due to diesel using compression ignition.

        Compare this to an electric motor which can be up to 98% efficient!

        60% of the fuel energy we put into our present vehicles is lost as heat and out of the tailpipe causing untold respiratory problems and of course cell mutation etc

        Yes, we still need fossil fuels for base load energy which today means cleaner burning gas but the move over to renewables for example is on a steady pace which will continue for the foreseeable future

        Power production on Madeira has mainly been Hydroelectric with wind turbines being installed as you know a few years back

        Have a look at Portugal’s use of renewables for example:

        We should not put all our power production eggs in one basket and should of course have gas turbines or fission in place to cover eventualities so as to make use of belt and braces

        Here’s your challenge Maurice, go hire an electric car like the Nissan leaf in Madeira for a weekend and take it for a spin up to terra chao then let us know what you think of electric drivetrains

  8. Conspiracy theorists might argue that this is a very good way to help boost the profits of the car dealerships on the island who manage to charge inflated prices due to the lack of cheap transportation costs of cars bought on the mainland. Breaking up the monopolies would benefit the majority but obviously upset the power brokers who seem to dictate political policies.

    • Cars are not the main issue,

      HGV’s carrying 40 tons of goods are the main monopoly issue

      Bypassing the need to use the container port at Canical is an option that all the main food suppliers would jump at in a heartbeat due to the cost reduction

      It probably costs more to deliver a container from Canical to any point in Madeira then it does transporting a container from the UK to the Algarve

      If anyone has sent down a 40ft container from the UK to Portugal let us know what the cost was for comparison which would be interesting to say the least

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