SANNA MARIN (SDP), the Minister of Transport and Communications, reveals she has begun work to address the problems identified in regulations governing the taxi industry in response to criticism from taxi operators and users.
Her announcement signals the continuation of an effort to re-examine the reforms launched or carried out by her predecessor, Anne Berner (Centre).
Kauppalehti and Uusi Suomi have reported that the new transport minister has decided to suspend the preparatory work to open regional rail services to competition in Southern Finland. The decision effectively puts the brakes on the large-scale project to open rail services to competition, although the government is obliged de-regulate the sector to some extent as per EU rules.
The tendering procedure was to be launched in 2022.
The one-year-old regulations on taxi services, in turn, came under criticism as recently as on Monday. The Finnish Taxi Owners’ Federation published the results of a survey indicating that the reform has damaged public trust in taxi services and caused widespread uncertainty about the regulatory environment.
Marin on Monday reminded that the need to re-examine the regulations is recognised also in the government programme.
“The government’s objective is to make sure taxi services are safe, high quality and meet the needs of users. The identified issues will be addressed. A careful and thorough examination of the problems in the current regulations is needed to revise the legislation. We intend to take action based on information while listening to the public and taxi industry,” she said in a press release.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications, the press release indicates, will evaluate the effects of the reform during the course of this year and use the findings as the basis for the lawmaking project.
Also the Finnish Tax Administration has expressed its concerns about the reform, viewing that it may have increased shadow-economy activity in the taxi industry.
“The Tax Administration has evaluated the effects of changes in taxi regulations from the viewpoint of the shadow economy. The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (Traficom) monitors prices regularly and will devise targeted measures to monitor taxi licences based on data provided by the Tax Administration,” revealed Marin.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi