Hot on the heals of Cabcharge, another taxi industry rent-seeker has entered the fold, with Live Group threatening to sue the New South Wales Government for daring to lower the 10% surcharge on electronic payments. From The AFR:
Managing director Reuven Barukh said he will seek compensation for its losses if the government insists on cutting the tariff from 10 per cent to 5 per cent on December 12…
“We reserve our rights for any damages which may be caused by the actions of TfNSW, including, but not limited to, misleading the market on how the taxi non-cash payment surcharge is structured.”
Since the Victorian government introduced the same 5 per cent cap in February, including GST, Live Group’s revenue there has more than halved due to the cut being more than half the original tariff…
Live Group and other taxi payments providers such as Ingogo argued the caps were reducing competition rather than increasing it.
Seriously, you cannot make this stuff up.
The broader question that regulator’s should be asking is: why should consumers pay a surcharge at all for electronic payments, beyond basic cost recovery?
Retail outlets certainly do not charge such egregious fees, so why should the protected taxi industry be allowed to do so?
Widespread competition from Uber-X cannot come quickly enough.