Media Release: One Billion Dollar Tax Grab Mars Positive Moves on Ridesharing

The NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure today released “A New Transport Economy: Consumer Choice, Competition, and Downward Pressure on Fares”, legalising popular ridesharing services such as Uber, repealing over 50 regulations, and establishing a $1 tax on all point to point transport for five years, ostensibly to fund a $250 million subsidy to the Taxi Industry.

“Today’s announcement is a mixed bag for NSW residents” said Tim Andrews, Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance. “We unreservedly commend the decision to accept reality and legalise Uber, and support the repeal of burdensome over-regulation. However, the decision to impose a new tax to bailout taxi license holders, including the 75% of perpetual license holders who did not pay a cent for their license in the first place, and to establish a slush fund of $142 million for taxi licensees “facing hardship”, is a deep disappointment – and does not stand up to scrutiny.

“Minister Constance’s claim that a $1 tax on all point to point transport for five years is needed to fund a $250 million bailout package simply does not add up.

“With over 150 million taxi trips taken in NSW every year – a figure that does not include Uber and hire cars - this “temporary” tax will raise over one billion dollars over the next five years.

“This is a blatant grab for cash in the guise of a compensation package. It is revenue raising – pure and simple. NSW residents are taxed enough already. We don’t need yet another great new tax imposed upon us. If the government wants to keep the budget in the black, it should start by cutting overspending, and not slugging NSW residents with another great new tax.

“On December 12 2014, then Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian announced “We have listened to taxi customers from across NSW who have told us they want cheaper fares”. It is a bitterly disappointing that since become Treasurer she has stopped listening.

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The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance is a grassroots advocacy and activist organisation comprising of over 25,000 members dedicated to representing taxpayers and opposing over-regulation. On Sunday, The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance released a viral video from the “Coalition of Obsolete Industries” satirising bailouts such as the one announced today by Minister Constance.

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