LPG levy blow for taxi fares
PASSENGERS may see a significant spike in taxi fares if the Senate approves a controversial tax on alternative fuels.
The Excise on Alternative Fuels Bill, passed by a majority of just one vote in Federal Parliament recently, would add an excise on alternative fuels, including liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which powers 95% of all taxis in Australia.
LPG Australia estimates taxi drivers face a 20 per cent increase in LPG prices if the legislation passes the Senate.
Lismore Taxis Co-Op secretary and taxi driver of 20 years Michael Kilpatrick said the increase would inevitably be reflected in fare hikes.
“People are trying to do the right thing and run a cleaner fuel and obviously, by increasing the tax, it makes it not as viable,” he said.
“(Taxis) are a major form of transport for pensioners.
“The price hike may mean one or two less trips a week for them, which interferes with their lifestyle.”
The price of LPG had steadily increased in the past few years, but a big jump would be difficult, Mr Kilpatrick said.
“LPG is a cleaner and more efficient type of fuel and the pricing is a bit better than unleaded (petrol).
“I would like to see the government offer more incentives so people use cleaner fuel
Mr Kilpatrick speculated that all taxis operators would switch to hybrid cars, which now look like the greenest and most efficient.
“In Lismore we have eight hybrids,” he said.
“They are very economical.
"They are about 40% cheaper.”