small business Community facilities Public Transport | March 02, 2017

Labor taxing country people to pay for city transport

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP says the Andrews Labor Government is forcing through legislation to introduce a $2 levy on country taxi passengers to pay for their botched scheme to regulate Melbourne Uber and remove taxi licences.

The Labor Government has proposed – “All commercial passenger vehicle providers charge a levy equivalent to $2 per trip to fund the transition to the new system including support for existing licence holders during the transition.”

“It is absolute nonsense for country people to pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into helping Labor buy back Melbourne taxi licences and pay to regulate Uber – a transport option we can’t access locally,” Ms Kealy said.

“Local taxi operators feel they are being used as debt collection agencies for the city centric Labor Government, and will collect hundreds of thousands of dollars more than they will be eligible to receive as compensation for taxi licence buybacks.

“Our local taxi drivers and taxi business operators provide a wonderful service within our regional communities, with many local people and families depending on their reliable and friendly service.

“The additional administrative burden on our small regional taxi businesses could mean these vital local services are no longer viable.

“Many of our smaller communities have limited access to various public transport options and this new tax will make local transport more expensive, which will have a devastating impact on some of our most vulnerable members of the community, particularly the elderly and disabled.

“One local 85 year old woman uses a taxi services 15 times per week and her average travel cost is $10. This additional tax to be introduced by the Andrews Labor Government will mean she now has to find an additional $30 per week, which is completely unfair.

“Pensioners should not have to pay Daniel Andrews’ new $2 tax just to visit the doctor or to go grocery shopping.

“Labor promised no new taxes or levies on the eve of the last State election, but here we are with yet another example of the city-centric Labor Government ripping off country people,” she said.

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