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Hungarian Taxi Drivers To Stage Anti-Uber Demonstration In Budapest

By Tamás Székely // 2015.06.05.

Taxi-driver unions are preparing to hold a protest in Budapest on June 16, demanding that  Hungary’s Parliament approves a decree regulating paid-for rides. Hungarian taxi drivers want to make sure that over the long term Uber and similar services can also operate, but within the proper legal framework. A a spontaneous protest was already held in March after after community transportation-sharing app Uber announced that it is providing a free service for rides costing less than HUF 3000 during the weekend.

Currently Uber drivers are not providing receipts, metres, insurance and they do not have a tax number for  their businesses, Zoltán Metál, leader of the FUVOSZ union said, citing the results of checks carried out in May by the tax authority. Metál said it is estimated that unlicensed Uber makes up to 100,000 rides a month, comparable to the turnover of large taxi companies. Since its appearance in Budapest in 2014, the business of “legitimate”  taxi  companies  has  shrunk by 20%,  he  said.  The  government  and taxi unions have a shared goal in ensuring  that  Hungarian  businesses can stay legal, Metál added.

In late May, an investigation conducted by the National Tax and Customs Administration has found that all Uber drivers examined broke tax regulations, and hefty fines suggest that the taxi app could go out of business in Hungary. During the first series of checks by tax officers disguised as passengers, conducted in May, the tax authority found that none of the tested drivers had a VAT number or produced an invoice. Drivers also failed to install taxi meters in their cars and there were no blank receipts or invoices provided.

via and photo: András Kismartoni –