Taxi Council warns disabled and aged passengers of budget fine print!

The Taxi Council of Queensland (TCQ) is concerned that changes to the Taxi Subsidy Scheme in yesterday’s state budget will disadvantage the most needy and vulnerable in the community.

From July 1 next year, a new annual limit of $400 per person will be placed on travel under the scheme, meaning higher users will have to pay more or forgo travel.

Chief Executive Officer of TCQ Benjamin Wash said the changes were made without industry consultation and may have a major impact on the lives of the aged and people with disabilities.

He explained that based on an average fare under the scheme, eligible users will be limited to less than one taxi trip per week.

“Many mobility impaired customers work in regular jobs and need travel up to twice per day. In addition elderly customers tend to travel twice per week – or 100 plus trips per year – simply for normal grocery shopping.

“Others travel more than twice per week for medical and other reasons.”

Mr Wash said the changes, which were “snuck into the budget” come only weeks after the Newman Government scrapped the proposed $6.50 wheelchair subsidy for the industry.

“The changes announced in the budget don’t make any sense. They affect the more vulnerable people in the community as well as taxi drivers, who are small business people, and they don’t save the Government much.”

“The Government has kept the same overall allocation to the scheme but reduced the ability of people to use it. It’s like saving money by stealth.”

Kind Regards,

Nia Cho
Communications Officer
Taxi Council Queensland
P 07 3847 3500
F 07 3394 4395

One thought on “Taxi Council warns disabled and aged passengers of budget fine print!”

  1. Pretty disgusting really. I live independently in public housing. I do live down the road from a bus stop, but I can’t push myself in my wheelchair up the hill to get there. Nor am I guaranteed a wheelchair friendly bus when I get there. The nearest train station is 15 minutes drive away, or $15 ONE way in a cab (full price). Currently I go volunteering once a week, which costs me about $25 all up in travel. I go to the PA hospital once a month due to my rare type of anemia, and the need for regular monitoring and blood transfusions. That’s another $60 round trip in a cab MINIMUM. Unless I want to catch a cab to the train station at 6 in the morning ON MY OWN, with no guards in sight to keep me safe from harm. I will be able to afford 5 trips to and from the hospital MAXIMUM. I have to go monthly….. and i’m only going to get $15k per year on the pension. I already have difficulty looking for a job, and my ability to go further away from home is drastically going to be reduced… therefore making it virtually impossible to get a job UNLESS I work from home. If I wasn’t already forced to be a recluse, I certainly will be once these changes come into effect. I will either have to rely on my family for transport, or the very few friends of mine who have their own car to drive. The rest live on the other side of Brisbane, and all rely solely on the TSS to get them around as well! I reckon the government will have a hell of a lot of mentally ill patients being admitted to hospital because of depression and suicidal thoughts. Real dumb… these rash decisions are only going to cost more money in the long term!

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