State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, has called on the NSW Transport Minister to put in place outcomes that are fair and equitable for those long-term committed taxi-licence owners who have invested their life savings in their licences.
Ms Hornery has had ongoing meetings and discussions with local taxi drivers who are struggling financially, but cannot sell their licences as they are now worthless.
The NSW Government introduced a hardship fund in 2015 but so far has paid out less than a third of the $150 million it has collected.
Compensation for licences has been set at $20,000 per set of plates and capped at two licences, despite many people owning multiple licences.
Ms Hornery has called on the Minister to ensure any buyback is fair and equitable, with some owners having paid more than $400,000 for their licences.
“This is a no brainer,” Ms Hornery said.
“The Government bailed out the hire car sector, buying back their licences for what they had originally bought it for, plus CPI to today’s value.
“The local drivers and owners I have met with invested their life savings in these licences and now they are being left with nothing because the Government refuses to pay a fair price for them.
“For some people who went into the industry, it was their end of career job. They bought the licence when they were 50 years old as an opportunity to use it and then they’d sell it to retire.
“The Government need to compensate these people properly, enough is enough. It’s unjust what they’ve done.
“We need fair and just assistance for licence owners based on the value of their licence in 2015.
“The Minister needs to listen to the concerns being raised and make sure the system is fair and equitable,” said Ms Hornery.