SMALL to medium-sized taxi firms could go to the wall later this year when the Stormont-initiated Taxi Operator Licensing is introduced, it has been claimed.
Speaking to the Chronicle ahead of the Department of the Environment (DoE) planned taxi-ing roadshows (in August), Eurocabs’ owner Andy Gallagher claims the on-going reforms amount to little more than stealth-tax.
Alleging the licensing legislation could cost firms thousands of pounds in set-up costs, the concerned taximan says the reforms couldn’t have come at a worse time.
The impending licensing is part of an ongoing process to give full effect to the Taxis Act (NI) 2008, which aims to ensure that “the Northern Ireland public has a modern, fit for purpose taxi industry responsive to its needs” – according to the DOE.
“To me this is all about a section of workers being made to pay extra tax,” Andy Gallagher said on Monday.
“Strabane is probably like a lot of places outside of Belfast, in that there are a lot of part time taxi drivers. This legislation is going to do away with a lot of them.”
See Thursday’s Strabane Chronicle for full story