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Give cabbies a fair deal; Voice of the ECHO.

DESPITE inviting the views of the public, Liverpool councillors are likely to rubber-stamp an increase in Hackney cab charges for the eighth successive year.

By November, fares will almost certainly have risen by up to 6%, making Liverpool, on current ratings, the UK's third most expensive area for taxi fares.

Ultimately, customers will vote with their feet. And, in what is a relatively small city centre, they may choose to walk or get the bus.

At the same time, there has to be more than a modicum of sympathy for already hard-pressed cab drivers, faced with extortionate increases in their own costs.

Nothing has impacted so noticeably on a driver's living wage than increases in the price of fuel.

That is something beyond their control. Even the government would blame a global hike in the cost of oil, although the chancellor has wisely put further fuel tax rises on hold.

In the shake-down analysis of the difficulties facing any individual or company over transportation costs, some of the finer detail separates out into containable areas of resource control.

Certainly, a major factor which has affected the livelihood of Hackney and private hire taxi drivers, not only in Liverpool, but throughout the region, has been the issuing of too many licensing plates by greedy councils.

When business is already hard to come by, its needs are not served by want only facilitating an over-supply.

The council should not view taxi drivers as easy-target cash cows.

They are hard-working folk making an honest buck against the odds.

They require help, not hindrance, and a properly thought-out overall strategy.
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Title Annotation:Leaders
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Aug 20, 2008
Words:266
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