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Taxi license holders should be compensated
Examiner - Sept, 24th, 2001 -

THE intense emotion demonstrated at the time of the deregulation of taxis has now dissipated. It is easier to view with some objectivity the effect of deregulation on taxi licence holders.

Taxi licences had built up capital values of many tens of thousands of pounds over a long number of years and these values were reduced to less than 5,000 at the stroke of a pen.

No system of compensation has been put in place for those licence holders who were stripped of considerable wealth by the deregulation decision.

Many of the licenses were bought for considerable sums and in many instances these sums were borrowed. There are now many unpaid loans taken out against assets that have now been stripped of their value.

Some licences were bought from the proceeds of redundancy payments. These people invested their compensation for the loss of a job and a pension, in a business that they were sure would give them a job and a pension. Many did so in the 80s and 90s when employment was hard to come by. They, therefore, took themselves off the unemployment register and took themselves out of competition for whatever jobs were available. This, of course, relieved the state of welfare payments and was to the benefit of those who were competing for jobs.

The thanks they got for this is that the value has now been taken from them. The pension potential for licence holders, using the proceeds of sale or rental has been blown away.

The question should be asked if licence holders in other sectors suffered a similar fate would there be compensation on the table?

Taxi licence holders have a very strong case for compensation from the state. A fund needs to be created that will restore the capital base for their pensions.

Michael Ahern,
3, The Crescent,
Westgate Road,




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