Point to Point - Industry assistance
The NSW Government has established an industry adjustment assistance package of up to $250 million to help people like eligible taxi and hire car licence holders adjust to the changes to the industry.
The package includes:
- Up to $98 million for transitional assistance for eligible taxi licence holders
- Up to $142 million in additional assistance for industry participants facing financial hardship as a result of the changes
- Up to $10 million for an additional assistance scheme for eligible hire car licence holders.
A Taxi and Hire Vehicle Industries Assistance Panel, with representation from the NSW Taxi Council, has been established to oversee the package.
The industry assistance package is being funded by the Passenger Service Levy. From 1 February 2018, all point to point transport service providers need to pay the temporary $1 levy on all trips (including taxi, hire car and rideshare) taken in NSW. Service providers can absorb this cost or pass onto passengers (with GST).
The levy will be in place for no more than five years, or until it raises the full amount required to fund the industry assistance package: whichever comes first.
The first stage of the industry adjustment assistance package was the transitional assistance for taxi licence holders who held a licence before 1 July 2015 – and continued to hold that licence up until payment of the transitional assistance. The scheme consisted of $20,000 payments per eligible ordinary transferable licence, for up to two licences.
Transitional Assistance Payments Scheme
The Transitional Assistance Payment (TAP) Scheme has now closed. The $98 million allocated for TAP was the initial stage of the NSW Government’s $250 million taxi and hire vehicle industries adjustment package and was to assist eligible taxi-cab licence holders adjust to the point to point transport industry changes.
Eligible taxi-cab licence holders received three communications – one from the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure and two from Transport for NSW – advising them they may be eligible for TAP, how to apply and the application period from 14 July 2016 until 13 January 2017. The NSW Taxi Council also provided communications to its members advising of the importance of submitting applications on time.
The TAP successfully distributed over $92 million to eligible taxi-cab licence holders, representing 99 per cent of possible applicants. This equates to some 4,000 eligible licence holders.
The following is a snapshot of the final report on the TAP:
- 3968 applications approved for payment
- 3012 (74.21 per cent) of applications received online
- 1047 (25.79 per cent) manual applications
- 13 applications declined because of ineligibility
The application verification services provided by Transport at Dubbo was an integral part to the success of the TAP process, together with the NSW Taxi Council, NSW Business Connect and the Point to Point Implementation team of TfNSW.
TfNSW was successful in obtaining a ruling from the Department of Social Services that the TAP is an exempt lump sum payment for the purposes of the social security income test. (Social Security Exempt Lump Sum – Taxi Reform Transitional Assistance Payment Determination 2016.)
The Australian Taxation Office deemed TAP payments as income support and as such they are treated as income for tax purposes.
You can contact the ATO at email@example.com or on 13 28 61.
Additional assistance for hire cars
Up to $10 million has been allocated to an additional assistance scheme for eligible hire car licence holders, in recognition that hire car licences are no longer required.
Applications for the Additional Assistance Hire Vehicles Payment (AAHVP) scheme for eligible licence holders were open between 14 December 2017 and close of business 13 April 2018, and have now closed. No late applications will be accepted.
Eligible applications received before the closing date are being processed and payments finalised.
TfNSW has been successful in obtaining a ruling from the Department of Social Services that AAHVP is an exempt lump sum payment for the purposes of the social security income test. (Social Security (Exempt Lump Sum – New South Wales Additional Assistance Hire Vehicle Payment) Determination 2017).
Industry additional assistance
The industry adjustment assistance package includes up to $142 million in additional assistance for persons who are or were involved in or connected with the taxi or passenger hire vehicle industry and who are detrimentally affected by the point to point transport reforms, particularly those in financial hardship.
In the coming months, more information will be made available to industry on how to apply for additional assistance.
If you have any queries about the additional assistance package, please call 131727.
More information on when applications for the scheme open will be made available to industry shortly.
Business advisory services
In addition to the industry adjustment assistance package, the NSW Government is providing dedicated funding for specialised business advisory services to the taxi and hire car industries.
Business Connect is a dedicated and personalised NSW Government program, with dedicated point to point transport advisors, workshops and events, to help the taxi and hire car industries adapt to the point to point transport industry reforms.
- Ph: 1300 661 539
- Business Connect website
A number of free financial counselling services are offered for people in hardship at the Financial Counsellors’ Association of NSW’s website, including help from the National Debt Hotline.