Is this the end of Uber?
After a string of controversies within Uber over the course of this year along with the police accusing the firm of failing to report sex attacks, ten MPs have said Uber is an “unfit and improper operator.”
Labour MP Wes Streeting who is the All Party Parliamentary Group on Taxis, wrote to Mike Brown, TfL’s commissioner, he wrote: “The safety of Londoners must be at the forefront of decisions taken about the taxi and private hire industry in our capital city.
“We do not believe that Uber has shown itself to be a fit and proper operator.
“Competition in the taxi and private hire industry is welcome, but it must be on a level playing field and the safety of passengers must be paramount.
“In cities around the world, Uber has shown itself to be an unfit and improper operator.
“It’s time that London followed cities in the United States, Canada, Australia, Italy, Denmark, Germany, Bulgaria and Hungary by revoking Uber’s licence.”
Inspector Neil Billany of the Metropolitan Police, has said Uber only informs the police of “less serious matters” therefore being selective of the crimes they report.
In May this year, TfL gave a ‘possible’ indication over the uncertainty of the operator’s future as they only granted a four-month licence.
A spokesman for TfL said: “This will allow us to conclude our consideration of a five-year licence.”
Uber has also evaded paying more than £40m to HMRC in VAT due to a controversial loophole, despite earning more than an estimated £200m per annum.
Uber claims that their drivers are their own business, therefore because drivers earn less than £85,000 per annum they are below the VAT registration threshold.
However, MyTaxi, Gett and others do pay VAT to HMRC.
A spokesman for Uber said: “More than 40,000 drivers rely on our app to make a living, with average fares last year of £15 an hour after our service fee.
“Drivers who use Uber are licensed by Transport for London and have been through the same enhanced background checks as black cab drivers.
“Our technology goes further to enhance safety with every trip tracked and recorded by GPS and we employ former Met Police officers who work closely with the police.”
A legal court battle looks inevitable, according to the general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Driver’s Association, Steve McNamara, as he said Uber is “an exploitative company.”
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