Brisnbane Times, July 20 2016 - 8:11AM
By Jorge Branco
Uber has fired another salvo in its fight with the taxi industry, enlisting a respected economist to argue taxi licence holders shouldn't be compensated for their losses if ride-sharing is legalised.
University of New South Wales Professor Richard Holden's Uber-commissioned report, released within weeks of a critical decision on the industry's future, was labelled a "diversion" by Queensland taxi owners.
The ARC Future Fellow argued the economic case for compensating drivers, who've seen licence values halve in Queensland since Uber launched in May 2014, was "not strong".
Professor Holden argued compensation would be like reimbursing losing lottery ticket holders, saying market prices should have already reflected the possibility for regulation and business changes of this magnitude.
In response, Taxi Council Queensland argued its own "independent economic research", which featured heavily in a submission to the industry review, refuted this opinion.
"The publication of this academic's theoretical opinion is nothing more than a diversion from the real issues and an attempt to gain free publicity," a statement read.
"TCQ is not interested in bluster, gimmicks, ice cream deliveries or puppies, but has taken our submission very seriously and now awaits the outcome of the review process."
In its submission to the Opportunities for Personalised Transport Review Taskforce, the peak body demanded "full compensation" for licence owners, if its calls to ban ride-sharing weren't heeded.
But Professor Holden argued such a move would be both "unnecessary and counterproductive".
"Such compensation would be analogous to compensating losing lottery ticket holders for not winning the lottery," he wrote.
Read More: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/ubercommissioned-report-argues-against-taxi-compensation-20160719-gq9dvy.html