Across the ditch in NZ.–no-longer-one-law-for-all/tabid/615/articleID/129509/Default.aspx

We all like cheap taxi fares. Who doesn’t? But when cheapness results in

unfairness that is a different issue.

Who wants to drink coffee where then the harvest comes from slave labour?

This government is bending over backwards to accommodate Uber – the

global giant passenger service and tax dodger.

Standards are dropping to give this foreign interloper a free ride into

the market.

Ever since Uber arrived in New Zealand they have played fast and free

with the rules.

Why is this government bowing to an outsider, allowing it to set up here

without obeying our rules. Any Kiwi would be strangled by the local

council, or the government authority if we tried to do that, and we’d be

shut down.

This is yet another nasty offshoot of globalisation – a foreign company

waltzing in, refusing to pay tax and exploiting the employment market in

which there are few full-time jobs and people are desperate for any work.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges jumps into action shouting from the

rooftops that he will “overhaul” the ”outdated” industry, “modernise”

it, and make it “safer”.

So, where has he been? Why didn’t he do it earlier if it was so backward.

Meanwhile, Uber got on with thumbing its nose at the law. In April, Uber

simply decided to drop the requirement that drivers have a P endorsement

for a licence or a certificate of fitness for their car –a direct

violation of the law.

They were not meeting the legal requirements of taxi drivers having full

criminal checks.

This meant the passenger of an Uber driven vehicle could only have an

assurance from Uber itself, and not the police, that a fit and proper

person was behind the wheel.

For some reason the authorities adopted a soft approach.

Warnings were issued to Uber drivers and some were ordered off the road

– but nothing dramatic happened.

Instead of insisting Uber comply with the law, or else, Transport

Minister Simon Mr Bridges has now decided to lower standards in the

entire taxi industry with his Land Transport Amendment Bill.

He’s dumping the need to pass an area knowledge test; English language

tests will no longer be required; and the taxis won’t have to be

identified with signage.

Panic buttons and cameras have been compulsory in taxis which the NZ

Taxi Federation campaigned to have retained. They have worked, and since

their introduction no murders and serious assaults have occurred.

But Mr Bridges was not interested. The bill will dump these important

safety measures.

Also, the cost of obtaining a P endorsement will be cut and taxi drivers

will not be required to have a full licence check every five years, nor

will there be any need to belong to an approved taxi organisation.

What we are seeing with this proposed law change is nothing new from

National since they have also allowed standards to drop considerably in

other industries to keep in line with their free market dogma.

Uber, the multinational tax dodger known to pay about 1% tax, must feel

smugly satisfied.

They have undermined the industry – and the National government is

giving them what they want. How is that fair? Changing the rules is

unfair on those who have had to pay to comply for years. If there was

something wrong the government should have fixed it, but now it is a

foreign giant setting the rules.

What happened to equality before the law for all taxi drivers?

Whose country is this?


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