New meters which all taxis are required by law to have on board do not work properly and transport ministry inspectors will not be able to use them until next year at least, website nu.nl reports.
The meters have been compulsory in all 30,000 cabs in the Netherlands since the beginning of this month but lack the proper technology to enable inspectors to read them.
The government has invested €200m in the computers and tax companies have invested thousands of euros in their development. However, three of the four companies contracted to produce the meters have gone bust.
‘We never imagined this could be such a long road,’ says Hubert Andela, of the Dutch taxi sector organisation KNV Taxi.
‘This is yet another government IT project which is totally out of hand,’ says Duco Douwstra, of the more militant Stichting Taxibelangen.
‘Ten years ago the big taxi companies had automated systems which allowed you to print out all journaey details. Now the government has made everything nice and complicated with a digital signature and it has all gone wrong.’
The computer, first mooted seven years ago, was seen by the government as a way of making the taxi sector more professional and less subject to fraud and tax dodging.
However junior transport minister Wilma Manseveld told parliament last week that many obstacles still remain to be overcome. There are so many ‘design errors’ that inspectors cannot do anything with it, she said.
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