Uber 'not playing fair' claims MP

4 August 2014

uber The Uber taxi app is being a bugger and not playing fair, claims MP Margaret Hodge.

She's written to mayor Boris Johnson to complain and ask why Transport for London allows cars to accept bookings through the controversial app, despite none of them having a licence to operate.

Hodge also reckons that Uber are opting out of the UK tax regime, whereas Uber have hit back and said that they have.

It's the latest in the long line of Uber-based upsets after thousands of black cab drivers complained about it in June (and sort of helped it gain more awareness as a bonus).

The Uber works out fares based on GPS. The main gripe of cab drivers is that this too similar to using a meter, which is their territory.

And if you want to stir up even more shit, Uber's Dutch operating company, Uber BV, does not pay tax in the UK, and Mrs Hodge is onto that.

She said: "I am particularly concerned about the tax structure that Uber and others have apparently constructed and the impact this has both on the public purse and on the livelihoods of London cabbies and private hire drivers.

"This structure allows these new entrants to unfairly undercut London operators by opting out of the UK tax regime.

"TfL allows this to happen by failing to apply the appropriate regulations to Uber."

In this letter to Boris which we assume he will actually read like a grown up, Mrs Hodge, who chairs the cross-party Commons Public Accounts Committee, added:

"Surely TfL has a duty to enforce legislation that will ensure a fair and level playing field for all taxi and private hire operators?

"I would be grateful if you could set out the steps you will take to ensure that TfL does not inadvertently allow tax avoidance in London and that all taxi and private hire drivers receive a fair deal."

Uber reckon they do comply with all applicable laws and that "Uber London Limited is a licensed private hire vehicle operator and recently passed the largest inspection of records ever conducted by TfL."

Even TfL themselves seem cool with Uber and that the app is operating lawfully, according to Chief operating officer at TfL Garrett Emmerson:

"TfL's role is to licence and regulate the taxi and private hire industry in London. We do not have any powers in relation to an operator's corporate structure and how or where they pay tax."

TOPICS:   Tax   Travel


  • bigbob
    Have/haven't ? Who cares, it's a crap story anyway
  • FatalException
    "I would be grateful if you could set out the steps you will take to ensure that TfL does not inadvertently allow tax avoidance in London" Rather than the Tories openly allowing tax avoidance for their chums. It seems this story is more about those bastards not getting their beak wet.

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