Fair compensation would help level the playing field in the ACT taxi industry, which has been tipped out of balance by the Labor-Greens Government, Shadow Transport Minister Candice Burch said.
Today in the ACT Legislative Assembly, Miss Burch will call on ACT Labor and the Greens to support compensation or a buy-back scheme for ACT taxi plate owners who have been wronged by the ACT Government, along with other common sense measures which would create a more competitive on-demand transport industry.
Labor Minister for Regulatory Services Gordon Ramsay recently increased the number of taxi plates in the ACT over an incredibly short timeframe. This has resulted in values of existing perpetual plates falling significantly.
“These are not big companies. These are everyday Canberrans who have invested in a government regulated industry to fund their retirement. They have worked hard, only to now have their livelihoods destroyed by this government’s cruel and unjust policy,” Miss Burch said.
When these Canberrans invested in taxi plates, they were worth around $250,000 to $450,000. Now, following the ACT Government’s decision to flood the market with additional licences, perpetual plates have fallen in value to less than $80,000, and are expected to fall further.
In addition, since 2017 the Government has reduced taxi licence fees from $20,000 per year, to $5,000 per year, further reducing the incomes of taxi plate owners. Some owners have seen their retirement incomes reduced by over 75 per cent.
“The expensive investments these retirees made are now virtually worthless. This is causing significant financial and emotion stress to many Canberra families,” Miss Burch said.
While the Canberra Liberals continue to support ride-share services in the ACT, taxi plate owners should not have to suffer.
“Common sense reforms would allow taxis to remain competitive alongside other ride-share services, and restore order and stability to the taxi industry.
“A Canberra Liberals Government would deliver a fair and equitable compensation package for ACT taxi plate owners to ensure their livelihoods are protected. We are today calling on the Labor-Greens Government to do the same,” Miss Burch concluded.