The NSW government has increased its total compensation package for taxi license holders for the introduction of the rideshare by $260 million to a total of $905 million.
A press release from outgoing Transport Secretary David Elliott, who will leave politics in the March 2023 election, boasted that the compensation was more than double the Victorian government’s package and more than nine times the government’s offer. from Qld.
The taxi industry has yet to accept the package after years of negotiations and higher compensation, but the government says this is its last offer to the sector.
“I have always striven to ensure that families who have paid out their hard-earned money are not left with debt through no fault of their own and I sincerely hope this eases the financial burden on our taxi drivers as they manage the transition to point services,” said Elliott. .
“I urge the taxi industry to support this generous package so that taxi license owners get the money they deserve as soon as possible.”
But to pay for it, ride and taxi users will have to be plagued by a 20% increase in the passenger charge (PSL) from $1.20 to $1.20 (ex GST), extending the surcharge for another two years. to 2030. That means each ride will cost an additional $1.32 for another eight years.
The PSL was first introduced in 2018 for a maximum period of five years. With approximately 175 million journeys per year in NSW pre-pandemic, the charge has already paid more than $250 million for the compensation package.
When rideshare was legalized in late 2015, the then government of Baird announced a $250 million compensation to the taxi industry that offered plate owners $20,000 per plate. A NSW tax permit was worth $367,000 in 2014. Before that, they traded over $400,000 and before the pandemic, after rideshare, traded for about $70,000.
The fees are not a government levy – they are traded in the private market just like any other asset.
The new package offers $150,000 to each Sydney city taxi holder with a maximum of 6 plates. Each regional taxi plate is paid between $40,000 and $195,000, with no limit on the number of plates.
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Faraway described the increase in the surcharge as “modest” to pay the extra $260 million for the taxi industry.
“After natural disasters and a pandemic, the NSW government is still able to offer companies such as the taxi industry a fair deal,” he said.
“I have met taxi companies around regional NSW, especially those in zone four. With this new package, those Zone Four operators will offer $40,000, a 60% increase over the previous proposal and on top of payments already made.”
If the final package is not accepted, there will be no legislation.
A government-appointed review will then be launched to assess a compensation package based on the existing passenger charge.