WITH the increasing congestion on the roads, the Government is faced with the prospect of having to implement measures that may prove unpopular with the public. One is to increase the first registration tax. The measure, if it goes ahead, is bound to raise protests from those who feel that the Government is interested only in enhancing its revenue rather than providing a longer-term solution to better road management. Every time the number of private vehicles increases on the roads, motorists are made to pay because they are seen as inefficient users of road space. When compared with public buses or the Mass Transit Railway, this is undeniable. As far as the private motorist is concerned, the Government has offered no meaningful alternatives to encourage a change of habit. Until public transport companies improve their service and, in some instances, the state of their vehicles, few motorists will be inclined to leave their vehicles at home. However, an 11 percent increase in private vehicles is not to be taken lightly. Despite a vigorous road building and repair programme, Hongkong still has limited space with which to build roads. The Government may be sincere in its wish to tackle congestion by curbing private vehicles, but it can expect vigorous opposition from legislators who will be wary of any measures to increase taxes which will prove unpopular with constituents. This is probably why the Government is wary of committing itself to the precise measures it has in mind in combatting worsening congestion on the roads. If the administration is to get its tax raising measure past legislators, it will need to convince them that it is genuinely concerned about the territory's roads and not seeking convenient ways of raising revenue.