Hailo and Uber destroying the transport industry

When Hailo was first Launched in London, through the London Black Cabs, it was understood and agreed that the app would not be offered to minicabs. Hailo insisted that their business model would ONLY work using professional London Black Cab Drivers to ensure a speedy and safe service for their passengers.

Hailo then stabbed the London Black Cab drivers in the back by offering the Hailo app to the minicab drivers. London Black Cab drivers stopped using Hailo, but it was too late. Most minicab drivers in England are non-EU English language students or people who are legally there from the commonwealth or former colonies.

When Hailo launched in Dublin, they pitched the same story about professional drivers and safety for clients – aimed at the professional taxi drivers of Dublin at the time and getting the blessing of the unions. However, at the same time, unbeknownst to the Dublin taxi drivers, our own government pulled off an unbelievable sleight of hand, which allowed non-EU English language students to take the SPSV test. This meant they could go ahead and become taxi Drivers in Ireland, helping Hailo to gain the critical mass of drivers they needed to start riding roughshod over the professional Dublin taxi drivers of old. Divide and plunder.

First to go was the €2 pick-up charge, which was only allowed by Hailo if a customer was not on the same street as the taxi. They did not want to know about the 1-way system and how you have to go around when fares are scarce. The €2 pick-up is the cost of professional Dublin taxi drivers using their knowledge to get through rush traffic - after pubs, then clubs, lunch and home times - with up to 15 minutes negotiating Dublin’s one-way system. All the while hampered by cars, vans in bus lanes, cyclists with no cycle safety lane and rickshaw drivers off their faces, driving down one-way streets in the wrong direction with 3-to-5 half-drunk hen- or stag-party tourists. Finally, after all this, the driver picks up the Hailo client with no €2 payment, as is set out clearly on the fare card on the dash of the taxi. This sanctioned and legally charged pick-up fee is part of the driver’s wages.

Hailo ignores the law of the land they are operating in - our land!

Hailo is a third party, facilitator app upstart. They are a third party giving two fingers to the drivers and our own Government Sanctioned Fare structure – they now had the non-EU drivers, happy to do whatever Hailo demanded because they don't know any better than to comply.

Another sweetener with Hailo was a section on the app which warned drivers about where there were speed traps. This was great for all drivers – old and new and non-EU – but also totally illegal. Yet the authorities turned a blind eye as so many J1 taxi drivers drove like lunatics and were getting speeding fines and the rest. This early warning system was dropped when they achieved a critical mass of drivers – Irish, non-EU J1 students and English ex-minicab drivers.

When the question was eventually put to the authorities how can a non-EU English language student get a taxi licence, it was stated that these people could speak English and only were here to acquire an accent!

Here in Ireland Hailo take their commission out of any tips a driver is given by the customer – they take an unbelievable 12.5% out of total charges a customer pays by card. Add to this that whenever Hailo offers a discounted fare – that come directly out of the pocket of the driver! Hailo now does enforcement and if you don't accept their trumped up charges and meekly accept their rulings they cut you off. It is slightly different now, since Uber came along, which I will explain below. I thought taxi drivers we answerable to the carriage office, the taxi regulator and the NTA – Hailo ignores all three and dispenses their own enforcement.

It was very convenient that when Hailo launched in Dublin many non-EU persons, often through old English colonies, could fly into Dublin with a letter in their hands stating they paid three grand to some unregulated English language college, sanctioned liberally by the Department of Justice, that would allow them to start driving a cab. This should mean they lose their Visas, as they are commercial drivers for Hailo, Uber or a self-employed taxi driver. On a student Visa, people can only work 20 hours a week – 40 during school Holidays.

Also at issue is the arrival of 95,000 people from former Italian and Portuguese colonies who come through Irish border control open a bank account and then using that account go hire a taxi with insurance. There has been no enforcement on this from the multitude of Government authorities and official quangos.

When Uber launched in Ireland we suddenly had an influx of up to 80,000 people, mainly single males from non-EU countries, who had been asked to leave the UK as their English visa was refused renewal and they were ordered out of the UK and, in turn, out of the EU. However, out of 183,000 persons ordered out of the UK 173,000 disappeared and an estimated 40,000 travelled to Northern Ireland and came here – some to help launch Uber. How convenient – and now Uber has its world headquarters here.

It is time to boycott these companies – on a rotating basis – until they understand that if they want to offer discounts let it be out of their pockets, not the taxi drivers'.

Joining the EU was supposed to offer protections to EU citizens no matter which country they choose to live and work in within the union. Now, non-EU economic migrants are involved in every sector of business in our society, which is leading to pay being undermined as our house prices and rents are going through the roof, with the extra 700,000 people now residing in our country. This would not be happening if only people from the EU were allowed to live and work in this country as was promised. We were sold a pup and it is time to challenge our political masters to own up to this sham and do something about it. Who asked us if we agreed to take on the sins of the former colonial masters of Europe? We were under British rule for far too long to now take on the promises they made to former colonists. Why should we pay for their mistakes?

None of the main political parties say a word about any of this – not even Sinn Féin, the Triple A alliance, and the rest of the so-called leftist protectors of the cherished children of Ireland in this year of 2016.