By Zoe Keenan
There is confusion and frustration in Perth CBD’s taxi ranks after the WA government proposed a $2 levy on all taxi and rideshare trips.
The government said the measure would raise money to help compensate the taxi industry which it deregulated after the arrival of popular rideshare services like Uber.
Taxi Operators Legal Defence Group Spokesperson Athan Tsirigotis said the $2 levy placed on people who use taxis and rideshare services is not the right action.
“Both personally and in regards to the body that I represent the levy shouldn’t be placed upon the travelling public they’re not the ones that have gone and changed the rules,” Mr Tsirigotis said.
“It boils down to the government’s inaction and its failure to both police and to keep a regulation on entrance to the market,” he said.
Taxi drivers, who pay up to $300,000 to license their cars and have the correct accreditation, claim Uber and rideshare drivers have skipped that process.
“The cost of setting up a taxi, running a taxi we can’t get out of, we have to abide by… but the rules that apply to us aren’t applied to ridesharing,” Mr Tsirigotis said.
One group of Perth taxi drivers spoken to by The Bounce News today said they don’t understand how a $2 levy is going to help pay back the thousands they spent on licensing and accreditation.
The group agree the public shouldn’t have to pay the levy and instead the government should take responsibility.
They said one-off payments from the government to licensed taxi drivers should be done.
“We really think it’s an easy cop out that [the government] just put it back onto the consumers and once again why should the consumer pay?” Mr Tsirigotis said.