East Gippsland taxi users should not be forced into paying a new levy to compensate metropolitan taxi operators, according to Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull.
Mr Bull said the Government recently put forward legislation in Parliament that all commercial passenger vehicle providers charge a levy equivalent to $2 per trip to help fund the state-wide buy-out of taxi licences.
“It’s not fair that country people are asked to pay for the compensation paid to metropolitan taxi operators,” he said.
“Taxi operators have also raised concerns with me that they will become debt collectors for the Government and taxing the biggest resource they have – their customers.
“One local operator, who is to be compensated just $22,500 for his two licences, said he will have collected this in just six months by imposing the $2 tax.
“Over eight years they will have collected an estimated $580,000, when they are only going to receive $22,500 in compensation. The rest will be shovelled off to pay for the metro licence holder compensation, which is considerably more,” he said.
Mr Bull also said the new tax would significantly impact the most vulnerable members of country communities.
“Pensioners should not have to pay the $2 tax just to visit the doctor or to go grocery shopping, nor should those with special needs have to eat into their individual support packages. These people rely considerably on taxi travel to and from appointments, day care programs and work,” he said.
“Country people should not have to pay for a metropolitan taxi licence holder compensation package and country taxi operators should not be forced into being the collection agency. There are no winners here for country people and Daniel Andrews needs to change this immediately,” Mr Bull said.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, says East Gippsland residents shouldn’t be taxed to compensate metropolitan taxi operators.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017