Thursday, March 23, 2017
I listened with interest to your interview in regards to Uber and how it has saturated your beautiful City with drivers from TfL and I fully sympathise with your issues and concerns.
While you was interviewed you stated that your licensing authority were hand tied with regards to this issue (I paraphrase) and that it was a need of change in legislation to rectify this problem.
This is not actually true, but unfortunately it is repeated several times because of the knowledge of the law and what it intended.
In the same TV program Fred Jones from Uber made a comment that the Deregulation Act 2015 is responsible, or at least a factor towards vehicles working in other areas and I am afraid that his statement is very misleading for two reasons.
1, The 2015 Act stated that jobs can be sub-contracted from one area to another.
2, Uber use cross border hiring (the triple license rule)
Reason 2 stated above is where the grey area is and your officers can actually act on this, I am sure you will talk with legal to confirm. What your officers can in fact do is charge a driver from out of town for plying for hire when they are parked waiting for jobs when they are not licensed in that area, because the intention of the triple license rule is that they should be given the booking while in the area that they are licensed and then travel to that arranged pick up.
I am more than happy to give further information including Case Law should you require.
I look forward to your reply.
Now see what Steve McNamara is saying in yesterday's Evening Standard:
"By the end of 2023, diesel black cabs will be a thing of the past. (So much for drivers who have just bought the late model TX4s Euro 6 and the new Mercedes Euro 6, hoping for 15 years usage)
McNamara, gerald secretary of the LTDA went on to say : "There will be a customer-driven switch to electric models and the public will be choosing them over diesel. It will be like the switch from horse-driven to motor cabs which took around seven years in the early 1900s.”
Let's not forget that there is a massive advertising budget available to any Taxi media willing to give the new TX5 space.
Where a 60-mile range was once common in regular use, some are now finding that's been cut to as low as 30 miles, and to save energy as much as possible, some drivers are shunning the car's heater in favor of chemical pocket warmers, and even blankets for themselves and passengers.
Degredation of the battery pack has also had an effect on the battery's ability to take a quick charge. The 15-minute charge has now turned into a 40-minute one for many drivers.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Your cheap Uber ride might cost 20% more if the company loses a legal battle over taxes in the UK.
Jolyon Maugham QC is a respected barrister who is suing Uber through his non-profit, the Good Law Project, for alleged unpaid VAT.
In a case update, the Good Law Project estimated that Uber will have to charge passengers more, cut drivers' fees, or reduce its own cut of fares if the company loses the case.
In a press statement, the Good Law Project said: "The consequences for Uber's business model are profound. Going forward, it may have to raise its prices by as much as 20%, reduce the wages it pays to drivers, or charge a smaller fee.
"It will also be forced to hand over a percentage of all UK fare income for the last four years to HMRC. Because VAT is an EU tax, Uber's businesses in other countries will also be affected."
The thinking is that Uber can currently afford to undercut rivals and give you cheaper fares because it doesn't pay as much tax as it should. And since it claims drivers are all self-employed, it doesn't need to pay costs like national insurance. It also claims it it isn't a transportation service provider, and therefore isn't liable to pay VAT.
That might all change.
Maugham has just sent a letter before action to Uber, which is a precursor to formally recovering a debt through legal means.
The debt, in this case, is a VAT receipt for one of Maugham's Uber journeys.
If Uber is "compelled" to provide a VAT receipt, it is then liable to pay VAT to the UK's tax authority HMRC.
Maugham's argument hinges on Uber losing an employment tribunal in the UK last year. The tribunal ruled that Uber's UK workers were entitled to minimum wage, among other benefits. It also held that Uber was a transportation service, saying: "It is unreal to deny Uber is in a business as a supplier of transportation services." And if Uber is a transportation service, then it's liable for VAT.
Maugham calculated that Uber owes at least £20 million in unpaid tax, and said he'll take Uber to the UK High Court in April.
An Uber spokesman said: "Drivers who use the Uber app are subject to the same VAT laws as any other transportation provider in the UK."
Let's help Jo get Uber into court, the Crowd funding Page is here