Perth taxi plate owners will divvy up nearly $120 million worth of compensation payments next month, with hundreds of owners putting their hand up for the money.
Figures released by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti yesterday showed that 877 owners or businesses — who own 1034 metropolitan taxi plates between them in Perth — had successfully applied for compensation.
Only two taxi plate owners did not apply for the minimum $100,000 buyback payment.
About 75 per cent of the 877 taxi plate owners will receive $100,000 while the rest receive “above the minimum payment”.
“I am really pleased this Government’s reforms have been able to move the industry out of what has been a prolonged era of uncertainty,” Ms Saffioti said.
“The near-100 per cent take up of the State Government’s taxi plate buyback is a great step forward and I look forward to the payments being made after July so the owners can finally move on.”
Taxi plate owner compensation comes after many complained of severe financial hardship following the arrival of Uber in Perth.
Some had bought their plates for hundreds of thousands of dollars, only to see values and incomes plummet.
Dubbed the Uber Tax, the Labor Government is recouping the $120 million by making all authorised on-demand booking services pay a new 10 per cent levy on all metropolitan trips over the next four years.
It’s envisaged that after that point, the levy will be removed.
According to Ms Saffioti, all authorised and on-demand booking services which were required to submit and pay the levy for the first month of operation “have been in compliance with requirements”.
The next phase of the on-demand transport reform starts on July 2.
This will include changes on how passenger transport vehicles are licensed.
From July, all taxi plates, taxi car, regular passenger transport and charter vehicle licences will be replaced by Passenger Transport Vehicle authorisations which will have four categories.
The four categories are on-demand rank or hail, on-demand charter, regular passenger transport and tourism passenger transport.
Existing leases, plates and licences will be automatically transitioned to a Passenger Transport Vehicle authorisation at no cost.
“This has been an extremely tough reform for individuals involved in the industry,” Ms Saffioti said.
“However, it is absolutely vital to the future of the industry.
“These reforms were never going to make everyone entirely happy but they will go a long way towards creating a safer, cheaper and more sustainable industry into the future.”