Uber dodges taxes, exploits its own drivers and has been helped by friends in the previous Government to avoid scrutiny and regulation. This can’t go on – join our campaign today and email TfL to tell them why Uber must be regulated:
I am writing to urge Transport for London not to relicense Uber, on the grounds that it is not a “fit and proper” operator. In fact, it is operating unlawfully and jeopardising public safety.
Ever since Uber was licensed by TfL five years ago, it has been plagued by controversy directly caused by its illegal activities, tax dodging and absolute disregard for the safety of its own passengers.
Plying for hire: Uber acts as an electronic tout for minicabs seeking immediate jobs. This is an unlawful form of “plying for hire”, which under current legislation is exclusive to the black cab industry. In turn, the black cab industry must abide by stricter regulations, with cabbies undertaking 8,000 hours of training for their licence. Meanwhile, Uber drivers are completely untrained and unsafe - and many are uninsured.
Passenger safety: Uber does not ensure that its drivers have the necessary insurance, skills and knowledge to transport passengers safely. Nor does it give its drivers access to the minimum wage, forcing them to work very long hours to maintain their income – leading to an increased risk of accidents. If members of the public are injured by an Uber driver’s actions they cannot even claim basic compensation from Uber.
Tax dodging: Uber is £50 billion company that pays an effective tax rate of around 1% on income from UK passengers.
Exploitation of its drivers: Uber drivers have no rights to sick pay, paid holiday, pensions or even the minimum wage. The Work and Pensions Select Committee’s inquiry into self-employment and the gig economy described Uber’s contract as “gibberish”.
In short, Uber is operating unlawfully. It is dodging taxes and ducking legislation, and it shows no regard for the wellbeing and safety of either its drivers, or that of the wider public. It cannot, and must not be relicensed by TfL.