Brussels Transport Minister Pascal Smet (sp.a) stated Uber would not be legalised on Friday. They will have to adapt to the new taxi plan that will benefit drivers, Brussels residents, and tourists.
“As a democracy, I think we have to control the future and not just put up with it”, he told MPs on Friday afternoon. Those present (B. Dillies-MR; B. De Lille-Groen; P. Kompany-cdH; Y. Handichi-PTB; F. Ahidar-sp.a; P. Delva-CD&V; C. Delforge-Ecolo; M-J. Ghyssels-PS) were asking him questions about the content of the new plan. It will be drawn up and managed in conjunction with the sector, and will include a series of principles the Vervoort government spoke of just before the Easter holidays.
The Minister spoke of his desire to create order within the sector and improve the judicial situation for drivers. “The Marxists in the room must know the sector has a problem”, he said for the PTB’s and Céline Delforge’s benefit – Mrs Delforge has said in the past she is a Marxist.
“There are fake freelancers as well as fake employees. I find it disgusting a driver has to work 60 hours and pay a centre 600 euros a week or give their employer 65% of their earnings”, the Minister said. He said the plan could not be put in place without increasing the amount of checks and more severe sanctions.
Pascal Smet added the Brussels government also wanted to regulate all command platforms.
“I don’t care about Uber particularly, but I don’t want to single out command platforms either. A Brussels platform, among others, will have to have a headquarters in Belgium, pay taxes there, have clear prices, and not treat drivers differently. They will have to have a regional licence. Uber can continuing operating on condition they respect the rules like the other platforms”, the Minister added.