Saturday, March 25, 2017

Uber's House Of Cards ... About To Crumble ?


In the wake of the news that a QC from the Devereux Chambers, is suing Uber to make it pay VAT, we find today that a nation newspaper (Daily Mail) has done a major expose' on the corruption behind the licensing of this toxic company. 

The questions now need to be asked: 
• How far into TfL's management has this corruption penetrated ?
• Can we get these people in a court of law to answer for malfeasance ?
• Who will be the next rat to jump ship?

Jim Thomas. 



NOW IS THE HOUR.....
So it's in the open, the colluding between our government and the tax avoiding predators from the U.S or is it Ireland, Holland or Bermuda?

No matter, our time had come, it's time for a council of war of the trade orgs.

Ego and who said what to whom (that includes me) to be set aside for all our sakes.

The leaders either step up or be forced to step away, there is no time to lose.

Non violent direct action with everything on the table, these people set out to destroy us, deny the public purse it's due and therefore underfund our beloved NHS and emergency services.

We missed the boat at the Olympics but now the tide is on the ebb for those who sought our doom.

Support the Good Law funding on the VAT Matter.

We must put Khan, Shawcross, Sweeting, Cameron, Osborne and all the others on the spot and likely some in the witness box.

The Prime Minister now has to make good on her words to protect hard working working people.

Public enquiry, Police Enquiries, HMRC enquiries let's have the lot.

Let us have the transport Select Committee and the Commissioner for standards all on the case.

These people have powerful friends, they will need them now.

First up must be the suspension of Leon Daniels on Monday.

DRAIN THE SWAMP!

I'm Spartacus


BUY GEORGE OR BYE GEORGE?

The Mail report about Cameron, Osborne and their improper lobbying on behalf of Uber is a great start to exposing the improper actions that have taken place.

I have been sending this information to journalists and reporters for a number of years on a regular basis, so its great that Guy Adams has now reported this.

There needs to be some proactive follow up to make sure that the full extent of the situation involving Transport for London is exposed.

There is further evidence to be reported .

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4347676/David-Cameron-s-chum-ocracy-links-Uber-bosses.html


It will help if Taxi Drivers send this article to their MPs and London Assembly Members asking for an urgent Public Inquiry.


This article helps to confirm that there are serious questions that need to be answered.

The ongoing circumstances of sexual assaults, rapes and accidents on a daily basis, dire congestion and air pollution killing thousands of people means that the criteria for a Public Inquiry are fully met.


Please share this article, sign the petition and contact your MP and Assembly member


A PUBLIC INQUIRY IS THE ONLY WAY THAT TFL WILL BE EXPOSED  AND IT’S THE ONLY WAY THAT THINGS WILL CHANGE

Dave Davies. 




Have the wheels come off Ubers dream of replacing the world's Taxi and Private Hire Trades with driverless cars ?


Major Security Breaches Being Ignored At Europe's Busiest Rail Terminal... By Jim Thomas

    Locked gates, armed police....too late?

Terror came to the streets of London again this week. Although the actions of this madman Khalid Masood were heinous, it is felt by many in our trade that it could have been so much worse.

It's something we've been warning about, and it's obvious that no ones listening to us.



The trade has been warning TfL, Camden council, the Mayor, the Government, the Met Police and homeland security services, there is a major security problem, at one of the Europe's busiest termini -EuroStar St Pancras.

Vehicles, mainly Private Hire cars, are being allowed to park up and wait in bays which are predominately designated for the dropping off of passengers arriving at the station.
 
Vehicles are then required to vacate the bay's within 2 minutes after drop off. 

         Rest in peace PC Keith Palmer

But private hire cars are flouting these rules and are sitting there, waiting to be given another job through their app, and in extreme cases, being approached by prospective customers (touting). 

Camden Traffic Wardens and TfL COs are a rare sight and cars have been seen sitting, waiting for hours on end. 


Back in April 2016, the driver led Taxi groups.... Dads Defending Daughters, Mayfair Mob and the Independent Taxi Alliance, supported by ordinary rank and file drivers, held a series of 5 flash demos bringing the area to a complete halt. 

This action was activated in order to bring the issue of non-compliance to the notice of the authorities who's job it is to police the area and protect the public. 

After the action, meetings took place and assurances were made by Camden Council who gave assurances, the bay's would be kept clear. 

It's now clear that The local council, TfL and the Police can't be trusted to keep their word.The extra enforcement dissipated almost immediately. 

After months of consultation with the authorities, it was felt our case needed to be spotlighted again and so a follow up flash demo, took place on the 16th of this month.


Unfortunately the powers that be do not seem to be listening to or sharing our fears. 
If this situation is allowed to continue, it's only a matter of time before we are faced with major terrorist attack at this location. 

Surely, prevention is better than cure.....do we have to wait till we are picking up body parts before they listen.

Although Wednesday's attack was truely horrendous, how much worst would it have been without the concrete blocks, security cameras and the quick reaction of armed police. 

Let's remind ourselves of our government priorities:
Firstly, when parliament debated police officer safety....


 Secondly, let's look at MPs debating their pay rise...


Below is London Taxi Radio's Sean Paul Day, interviewing drivers at last week's  St Pancras Demo :

  

Friday, March 24, 2017

LAST CHANCE CAFE ? Please, do not miss this opportunity to get Uber in court


Your cheap Uber ride might cost 20% more if the company loses a legal battle over taxes in the UK.

Jolyon Maugham QC is a respected barrister who is suing Uber through his non-profit, the Good Law Project, for alleged unpaid VAT.

In a case update, the Good Law Project estimated that Uber will have to charge passengers more, cut drivers' fees, or reduce its own cut of fares if the company loses the case.

In a press statement, the Good Law Project said: "The consequences for Uber's business model are profound. Going forward, it may have to raise its prices by as much as 20%, reduce the wages it pays to drivers, or charge a smaller fee.

"It will also be forced to hand over a percentage of all UK fare income for the last four years to HMRC. Because VAT is an EU tax, Uber's businesses in other countries will also be affected."

       Jolyon Maugham QC is suing Uber. Jolyon Maugham

The thinking is that Uber can currently afford to undercut rivals and give you cheaper fares because it doesn't pay as much tax as it should. And since it claims drivers are all self-employed, it doesn't need to pay costs like national insurance. It also claims it it isn't a transportation service provider, and therefore isn't liable to pay VAT.

That might all change.

Maugham has just sent a letter before action to Uber, which is a precursor to formally recovering a debt through legal means.

The debt, in this case, is a VAT receipt for one of Maugham's Uber journeys.

If Uber is "compelled" to provide a VAT receipt, it is then liable to pay VAT to the UK's tax authority HMRC.

Maugham's argument hinges on Uber  losing an employment tribunal in the UK last year. The tribunal ruled that Uber's UK workers were entitled to minimum wage, among other benefits. It also held that Uber was a transportation service, saying: "It is unreal to deny Uber is in a business as a supplier of transportation services." And if Uber is a transportation service, then it's liable for VAT.

Maugham calculated that Uber owes at least £20 million in unpaid tax, and said he'll take Uber to the UK High Court in April.

An Uber spokesman said: "Drivers who use the Uber app are subject to the same VAT laws as any other transportation provider in the UK."


Don't miss the opportunity to help Jo get Uber into court :

Use this link below to donate 

>https://www.crowdjustice.org/case/uber/<




San Francisco wants Lyft/Uber data to determine how much traffic congestion they cause

Two San Francisco transit agencies and one of the city's supervisors are calling on a state commission to release the data it receives from ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft, saying they need the info to control traffic issues.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin  has now drafted a resolution asking state legislators to grant California cities the right to access data from the two companies in order to see how much impact their drivers have on transit agencies and car traffic.

"That data is sent to the California Public Utilities Commission, but for years they have shielded it from public view. The CPUC granted confidentiality of trip data to Uber and Lyft after the companies argued the data could be used by one another to gain a competitive advantage," the Examiner reports.

Peskin said that requests for the data “continue to be denied by the CPUC,” Peskin told the San Francisco County Transportation Authority board on Tuesday. The agency, as well as the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, have both been pressing the CPUC to disclose its Uber and Lyft figures, but have had their request denied.

Last December, the SFMTA penned a letter to regulators that said:

45,000 Uber and Lyft vehicles driving in San Francisco traffic have added to congestion in the city and are an increasingly bad influence on traffic.

“Much of the increase San Francisco has experienced in vehicular traffic can be attributed to the huge increase in the number of [ride-hail] vehicles operating on city streets,” the letter said. “The commission’s prior and current rulemaking process clearly has had a significant environmental impact.”

The local transit authority is also concerned about how the commission regulates the two ride-hail companies, and urged regulators to take a closer look at how they both classify the companies and how they regulate Uber and Lyft drivers who use rental cars to transport passengers.

"The resolution was partially spurred by a recent study from lauded transportation analyst Bruce Schaller , which found services like Uber and Lyft caused a net increase of 600 million vehicle miles traveled in New York City — that’s a nearly 3 percent jump in car traffic," the Examiner reports.

"Additionally, Schaller found, services like Uber drew people away from public transit, and wrote those people would otherwise not have taken cabs, because they were too expensive."

Source SF Business Times.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

London's Cabbies, London's Finest, London's 4th Emergency Service.


The 22 of March will be forever etched in our memory, as the day that saw a police officer and 3 members of the public killed in a terrorist attack on the streets of London.

We pray now for the speedy recovery of the reported 40 injured people on the bridge, mowed down by a terrorist bent in causing as much death and destruction as possible.

On this day, we also saw the NHS staff, paramedics, firefighters and our Police at there very best.

We must hope now that the MP's who are allowing the NHS  firefighters and police cuts think again..


Again on this day, we saw Londons  4th emergency service set up to the mark silently play their part by running people away from the horrors for scene to places of safety, without a second thought and without charge.

These drivers won't get thanks from TfL the GLA or the Mayor, but the 
people they helped today will always remember.

Each and everyone of you wonderful cabbies, Londons finest, should be proud you didn't run away, you turned and run to help.... it's what we do.

Below is a clip from the Ian Collins show in LBC, listen as Carly thanks the driver who got them away from the carnage. But listen what this driver did at the end of the journey. 

   
  With thanks to Marc Turner, Linda Morris, Artemise Mercer, Mac The Cab and London Taxi Radio


What they said on Twitter and Social Media :











Westminster terror attack: Latest Update 
 
Fourth victim dies in hospital

Police have confirmed a 75-year-old man has died in hospital after his life support machine was switched off on Thursday evening.

Earlier, the man believed to be responsible for the attack was named as 52-year-old Khalid Masood.

Police said Masood was not the subject of any current investigations and there was "no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack."

Masood, who was born in Kent, was known to police and had a range of previous convictions for assaults, including GBH

He was also known by a number of aliases, the Metropolitan Police said.

Armed with two large knives, Masood mowed down pedestrians with his car on Westminster Bridge on Wednesday afternoon

He was shot dead moments later by another officer

The first three victims have been named as Pc Keith Palmer, Aysha Frade and US tourist Kurt Cochran

29 people remain in hospital and have been visited by the prime minister

Earlier, Mrs May told the Commons: "Our resolve will never waver in the face of terrorism."

Eight people have been arrested and raids have taken place in London, Birmingham and elsewhere

Source : ITN news 

Open Letter To Jackie Quinn, In Regards To Brighton's Uber Problem.... By Lee Ward


Hello Jackie

I listened with interest to your interview in regards to Uber and how it has saturated your beautiful City with drivers from TfL and I fully sympathise with your issues and concerns.

While you was interviewed you stated that your licensing authority were hand tied with regards to this issue (I paraphrase) and that it was a need of change in legislation to rectify this problem.

This is not actually true, but unfortunately it is repeated several times because of the knowledge of the law and what it intended.

In the same TV program Fred Jones from Uber made a comment that the Deregulation Act 2015 is responsible, or at least a factor towards vehicles working in other areas and I am afraid that his statement is very misleading for two reasons.

1, The 2015 Act stated that jobs can be sub-contracted from one area to another.

2, Uber use cross border hiring (the triple license rule)

Reason 2 stated above is where the grey area is and your officers can actually act on this, I am sure you will talk with legal to confirm. What your officers can in fact do is charge a driver from out of town for plying for hire when they are parked waiting for jobs when they are not licensed in that area, because the intention of the triple license rule is that they should be given the booking while in the area that they are licensed and then travel to that arranged pick up.

I am more than happy to give further information including Case Law should you require.

I look forward to your reply.

Many thanks

Lee Ward
ALPHA Chairman 

Daily Mail, First To Put A Price On Geely's New TX5 ... By Jim Thomas.

First indication of the price of the new zero emissions TX5 has been published in the Daily Mail today. 


The Mail puts the on the road price at a whopping £60,000. Added together with the new car vehicle excise duty of £1,500 puts this vehicle out of the reach of most London Taxi drivers who have seen their takings decimated over the last couple of years.

There is of course a government subsidy of £7,500 but this is finite and available on a first come first served basis. 
Much of the subsidy will be soaked up by garages who will be amongst the first purchasers. 

Taxi Leaks has failed to find any research by Geely, the government or TfL into the health affects on drivers from the radiation given out from the EMF surrounding the massive bank of batteries. 


Biggest issues seem to be with the early degrading of batteries causing the expected range of vehicle to drop rapidly in just a few months of regular fast charging. 

Drivers in Beijing have had to get used to more down time while vehicle recharges. 
In Osaka Electric Taxis drove without lights at night and as with passengers in Beijing, complained they are handed blankets in cold weather, because drivers removed heater fuses, in attempts to save power. 


We've been led to believe that these expensive batteries packs will have to be changed regularly, and so they will be available on leasing contracts to owners, but we are not sure if the price will include disposal -this won't be cheap. 

Lets hear what Grant Davis and Steve McNamara had to say about electric vehicles a couple of years ago!

    

Now see what Steve McNamara is saying in yesterday's Evening Standard:

"By the end of 2023, diesel black cabs will be a thing of the past. (So much for drivers who have just bought the late model TX4s Euro 6 and the new Mercedes Euro 6, hoping for 15 years usage)

McNamara, gerald secretary of the LTDA went on to say : "There will be a customer-driven switch to electric models and the public will be choosing them over diesel. It will be like the switch from horse-driven to motor cabs which took around seven years in the early 1900s.”

Let's not forget that there is a massive advertising budget available to any Taxi media willing to give the new TX5 space.

See below earlier posts about the Osaka experiment into electric vehicles and more recently the issues faced by Taxi drivers using these vehicles in Beijing. 

OSAKA EXPERIMENT:

In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, electric vehicles are no longe seen in Osaka as a clean and safe alternative to fossil fuel.

While reliable, comfortable and smooth, drivers are finding degredation of the battery packs to be a real issue.

Where a 60-mile range was once common in regular use, some are now finding that's been cut to as low as 30 miles, and to save energy as much as possible, some drivers are shunning the car's heater in favor of chemical pocket warmers, and even blankets for themselves and passengers.

Degredation of the battery pack has also had an effect on the battery's ability to take a quick charge. The 15-minute charge has now turned into a 40-minute one for many drivers. 
Also, they can't travel as far, or spend as much time on the road. Taxi drivers say they are losing out big time and it's ruining their business. 
Customers requesting longer trips are even being turned down.

BEIJING COMPLAINTS :

After the abject failure of electric Taxis in Osaka Japan, Ford (Hong Kong) have unveiled a new Transit Connect Taxi, based on a current model, running on petrol/LPG, (CNG) reducing NOx emissions by 80%. 

This vehicle can easily be unadapted for Taxi work and retails in the UK at a very respectable £15,700 for the basic van.


With the Taxi trade on the brink of financial ruing, why aren't our representative orgs, lobbing on our behalf for a more viable option, such as the Ford Transit Taxi?

Better still, why has no attempt been made to keep the iconic shell, together with a petrol gas engine?

Latest News From Rome, Regarding Today's Taxi Strike.


            Rome, yesterday March 22

Italy's transport industry ministries, unveiled a decree to taxi drivers, aimed at stopping  the "abuse" by private NCC cabbies and other chauffeur services to the detriment of taxi drivers. 

The five-article decree was drafted by the two ministries and presented at the transport ministry to try to avert another all out strike Today. 

Earlier yesterday, a Turin court rejected multinational Uber's appeal against Italian taxi drivers, over the UberPop ride-hailing app. They have banned its use in Italy because it constituted unfair competition. 

It was a Milan court which first banned the UberPop app in Italy two years ago. 

Uber said today, that its Italian business would not be unduly affected, because "the UberPop model has been amply superseded for two years now...they added that they only use fully authorised drivers now".

Italian taxi drivers have been fighting against Uber and have staged a series of strikes, one of which culminated in violent protests outside parliament.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Uber fares could go up by 20% if it loses a UK court battle


Your cheap Uber ride might cost 20% more if the company loses a legal battle over taxes in the UK.

Jolyon Maugham QC is a respected barrister who is suing Uber through his non-profit, the Good Law Project, for alleged unpaid VAT.

In a case update, the Good Law Project estimated that Uber will have to charge passengers more, cut drivers' fees, or reduce its own cut of fares if the company loses the case.

In a press statement, the Good Law Project said: "The consequences for Uber's business model are profound. Going forward, it may have to raise its prices by as much as 20%, reduce the wages it pays to drivers, or charge a smaller fee.

"It will also be forced to hand over a percentage of all UK fare income for the last four years to HMRC. Because VAT is an EU tax, Uber's businesses in other countries will also be affected."

       Jolyon Maugham QC is suing Uber. Jolyon Maugham

The thinking is that Uber can currently afford to undercut rivals and give you cheaper fares because it doesn't pay as much tax as it should. And since it claims drivers are all self-employed, it doesn't need to pay costs like national insurance. It also claims it it isn't a transportation service provider, and therefore isn't liable to pay VAT.

That might all change.

Maugham has just sent a letter before action to Uber, which is a precursor to formally recovering a debt through legal means.

The debt, in this case, is a VAT receipt for one of Maugham's Uber journeys.

If Uber is "compelled" to provide a VAT receipt, it is then liable to pay VAT to the UK's tax authority HMRC.

Maugham's argument hinges on Uber  losing an employment tribunal in the UK last year. The tribunal ruled that Uber's UK workers were entitled to minimum wage, among other benefits. It also held that Uber was a transportation service, saying: "It is unreal to deny Uber is in a business as a supplier of transportation services." And if Uber is a transportation service, then it's liable for VAT.

Maugham calculated that Uber owes at least £20 million in unpaid tax, and said he'll take Uber to the UK High Court in April.

An Uber spokesman said: "Drivers who use the Uber app are subject to the same VAT laws as any other transportation provider in the UK."


Don't miss the opportunity to help Jo get Uber into court :

Use this link below to donate 

>https://www.crowdjustice.org/case/uber/<






Inside Out Show's Uber Can't Be Trusted, As Brighton Gets Flooded With TfL Registered PHVs


Finally, the BBC have aired a program which has proved beyond any shadow of a doubt, that Uber can not be trusted under any circumstances. 

Uber were granted a one year licence to operate in Brighton and Hove in October after a council meeting in 2015. However, they only started to operate at the end of last year when the licence was renewed in full.

It was only renewed on condition that they only used drivers who were licensed in Brighton as a posed to drivers licensed by other authorities such as TfL. 


Chair of the licensing committee, Cllr Jackie O Quinn of the Labour and Co Op group was aware that Uber drivers don't have the local knowledge that local drivers have and TfL registered cars don't have the CCTV that local PH cars have and yet her committee still renewed Uber's licence. 

Needless to say once renewed it has opened up the flood gates and the Brighton and Hove have been inundated with TfL registered Uber's, plus some from as far away as south Cambridgeshire. 


Uber say the legislation from 1976 and from 2015 means they don't need the councils permission to operated in the city as long as all jobs go through the app. 

Cllr O'Quinn said they thought they had an agreement to work with Uber but turns out the council is in an impossible position. 

John Steeter of streamline Taxis said "All Brighton licensed vehicles must have CCTV but TfL said with their cars it's not necessary and that fact doesn't make them any less safe"

Last year alone there were 154 reported sex attacks on passengers by private hire drivers in London 32 by Uber drivers, a fact that TfL have constantly ignored.

There are now grave concerns that these TfL registered drivers will bring down the safety standards in Brighton. 

    

Petition against the Renewal of Uber's operating Licence in London


Uber's operating and business model has broken every guideline and has been protected by an inept regulator who has single handedly set out to destroy the surface transport network and the London and Suburban licenced Taxi Trades. Transport For London continues to appease this technology company and bend and allow it to operate outside the Law we see on a daily basis fatalities and accidents caused by uber drivers  let alone the increase in rape and sexual assaults to date there are 116000 Private hire drivers in London clogging the streets this equates to almost 5 minicabs to 1 taxi the result has been the complete demise of the London taxi trades it has been proven that false residency medical and criminal documentation is easily created for individuals to obtain a PH licence and work for uber yet Mayor Khan TFL still continue to allow them to operate in London and its suburbs, Mayor Khan stated he would run uber out of town if they broke legislation which they have he has now failed to deliver I urge you Ma'am Teresa May prime minister to listen to us 25000 London Taxi drivers TfL must be investigated, disbanded those at the heart of this cover up Must be brought to justice and uber must not be allowed to continue to operate in London and its suburbs it must be stopped before there is more death assault rape  and even a potential terrorist threat.

This petition will be delivered to:
  • Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party
    Theresa May MP

Monday, March 20, 2017

Brighton Taxi Drivers, Opposing The Arrival Of Uber In The City.... Sky Channel 963 Tonight


Don't forget to tune in to Sky channel 963 tonight at 7:30
The BBC, with assistance from locally based Latest TV company, will be detailing the problems being faced by local Taxi drivers.

The program will be entitled -Brighton Taxi drivers, oppose the arrival of Uber in the City-

Local drivers are claiming that their streets are being overwhelmed by Uber private hire vehicles, the majority of whom are licensed by Transport for London (TfL). The TfL licensed vehicles are also being joined by Uber cars from all over the country.

Because Brighton's licensing enforcement is as bad as London's, local drivers are seriously worried for public.  

BBC Inside Out program goes out tonight at 19:30 on the BBC1 South-East Region (sky channel 963) but will be available immediately after transmission on the BBC iPlayer nationally.

BBC will follow this up with an Inside Out Episode in Manchester, detailing the problem of cross border working in Manchester. 

To be aired Monday Mar 27, at 19:30 hrs

Let's remind ourselves of the great job the "inside out" team produced (presented by Louise Hulland) with their London program :

     

Marks And Spencer Latest Company To Stop Advertising With Google Over YouTube Videos


Google boss apology as M&S becomes latest to suspend ads over hate videos

The world of online advertising can be a dizzying world of acronyms - you start talking about Google advertising, and you end up with GDN, SEO, DSP and DBM all littering the conversation.

But one thing is clear - Google has a problem here.

A serious problem that goes to the heart of what this company does, and what it stands for.

Now, you might imagine that Google would consider itself a huge player in the media world.

Look in the Oxford dictionary and you'll find that "media" refers to "mass communication", and not much can fall into that category more than our social media giants.

YouTube collates a vast amount of information and content and, like Facebook, plays a pivotal role in the way news is consumed around the world.

Over a billion people are regular YouTube users and hundreds of millions of videos - possibly billions, depending on which statistics you believe - are watched every day.

And yet Google says it's not a media company.

It insists it is, instead, solely a technology company, and should be regulated as such.

Source : Sky News 

THATS FUNNY, INSISTING THEY'RE A TECHNOLOGY COMPANY....

WHERE HAVE WE HEARD THAT BEFORE ???