When was the last time you caught a taxi? What was the experience like? If you were like myself, you probably thought a flea infested camel was more adequate than jumping into an old filthy worn out ford falcon with almost unreadable words ‘Combine Taxi’ written on the doors. Often the stench of Taxi’s is enough to make you puke into your own mouth and then you are forced to swallow it thinking that torture is probably more humane than travelling in this heap of junk. To add insult to injury, the driver doesn’t speak a word of english and gets lost trying to find your destination. It is no surprise that the folk from Uber are making a killing, in today’s free market world, consumer’s are opting for a cleaner and easier mode of transport and Uber are our saviors, saving us from our own bile.
Recently the leader of One Nation, QLD Senator Pauline Hanson was visting Marcoola on the Sunshine Coast, she announced a scathing attack on Uber stating that they are destroying the Taxi Industry. Senator Hanson has called for either the State Government to cut costs to Taxi Drivers or increase the cost to Uber Driver’s to ensure that there is a level playing field.
On face value I agree, there needs to be a level playing field. Why should Uber Drivers who are subsequently ‘taxi drivers’ be able to drive customers to their destination without the additional costs yet actual Taxi Driver who do the same job, have to pay through their nose be able to operate?
Senator Hanson has made an error though in her statements. The mere fact she has proposed to increase costs to Uber is typical socialist mantra. One Nation wants to be an alternative to the major political parties therefore they need to come up with an alternative policy. Firstly, One Nation should be addressing why people are turning to Uber, rather than punishing Uber and Uber customers. It doesn’t take a QLD Senator to work out why Uber is thriving.
Just in case people are not sure here are some points. (Disclaimer: Generalising here, of course not all taxi’s and taxi drivers fit this generalisation)
- Taxi vehicles are often old and not looked after
- Taxi vehicles are dirty
- Taxi drivers are unfriendly and smell worst than an unkept tramp
- Taxi drivers english is often non existent
- There is really no way to provide feedback
- Mobile phone apps are not that superior to Uber
- Taxi’s are expensive
A lot of these issues can be easily address without increasing costs to the taxi industry, except the last point, which I will discuss later.
If the taxi industry cleans up their act then they are on the road to a level playing field, almost!.
To finalise the journey to a level playing field, One Nation should be pushing to decrease the costs and regulations on the Taxi industry on the proviso that they clean up their act first. As mentioned, many people are moving away from Taxi’s because they are expensive. Often they are expensive because of the large amount of money they have to pay State Governments in costs and regulations. This however should not come free. The Taxi Industry often whinges about Uber, but Government needs to put pressure on them to clean their act up. This is an opportunity for One Nation to develop sound policies that once the Taxi Industry cleans up their act they will move legislation to cut regulation and bring down costs to the industry.
In essence, Senator Hanson has touched on an issue which needs to be discussed. The fact that there are hard working people who are suffering under a socialist mantra of regulations and increased costs goes to show Hanson is the only one that is addressing such issue. Hopefully the Qld Division of One Nation will develop a common sense approach to this, this is one topic I will be watching closely.