February 26, 2018

Regional taxis and charters should be exempt from Uber tax

The Liberal Opposition has called on the McGowan Government to backflip on its plans to apply the 10 per cent Uber Tax to regional taxi and ride-sharing drivers and all charter vehicle operators.

Shadow Transport Minister Liza Harvey said it was now clear the State Government’s taxi compensation package, which had been hastily cobbled together to fulfil their election promise to metropolitan taxi drivers, was seriously flawed and regional taxi services and all charter operators should be exempt.

“Labor went to the State election promising to pay metropolitan taxi plate owners the most generous compensation in Australia but at no point did Labor say it would be funded through a new tax,” Shadow Transport Minister Liza Harvey said.

“In fact, Mr McGowan specifically promised no new taxes under his Government.

“As more details of the proposed legislation begin to trickle out, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that Transport Minister Rita Saffioti’s policy is confusing and unworkable.

“It defies belief that the taxi, Uber and other ride-sharing drivers in regional areas will be paying a tax when there is no buyback scheme available to them.

“This new Uber Tax is simply a money grab by the McGowan Government that will increase costs for regional drivers; costs that will then be passed on to customers.

“Likewise, why should charter companies pay the new Uber Tax when they are not part of any taxi plate buyback scheme?”

Ms Harvey said the increased costs would be a direct hit for the tourism industry.

“This is just another example of policy on the run by Rita Saffioti and the McGowan Government; with the end result being a clumsy and confused package that puts unfair costs on other operators and sectors,” Ms Harvey said.

“Transport Minister Rita Saffioti needs to go back to the drawing board and deliver what they promised to win the election.”

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