Changes recommended to ‘Uber’ tax

A parliamentary Committee has recommended the Andrews Labor Government reconsider its proposed taxi reform legislation, including its new $2 tax on every taxi trip.

A report tabled in Parliament this week by the Economy and Infrastructure Committee recommended amendments to the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Bill 2017.

Daniel Andrews’ own Labor MPs were among the Committee members who have recommended to amend the Bill to "provide for a reduced rate of levy in rural and regional areas" and that the Government considers reducing the $2 levy.

The Nationals Member for Northern Victoria, Luke O’Sullivan, who is a member of the committee, said this report proved the ‘Uber’ tax was unfair on country Victorian taxi users and the Andrews Labor Government needed to change it.

"Even Daniel Andrews’ own MPs don’t support the proposed Bill, that unfairly taxes regional and rural people," Mr O’Sullivan said.

"If Daniel Andrews again breaks his promise not to introduce any new taxes, a lower rate for regional passengers that have limited public transport options, is a sensible outcome.

"For country people in areas like Bendigo, a tax on taxi trips is a tax on people who can’t take the bus home with the weekly groceries, or travel to and from the doctors with the same ease as people in city areas.

"Often, these are short trips, so Daniel Andrews’ proposed $2 tax is a significant increase for many country people."

"Bendigo taxi and hire car owners are already fed up with proposed changes to the industry which they made very clear during protests in Bendigo earlier in the year."

The Committee also recommended extending existing Multi Purpose Taxi Program concessions to all trips and exempting these concession holders from the $2 tax.

"This new tax is one of eleven that has already been announced or implemented by Daniel Andrews despite the fact that on election eve he promised no new taxes," Mr O’Sullivan said.

"Bendigo consumers and the taxi industry have been stuffed around by the Andrews Labor Government for too long. They’re fed up and its time they were given the certainty to plan for their future with confidence."

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