No-one believes Delgro’s and the National Taxi Association’s claims that the taxi fare increases are meant to help taxi drivers. Stockbrokers are already factoring into their forecasts, the assumption that sometime soon, Delgro will increase the rentals it charges taxi drivers.
So it wasn’t that surprising that yesterday, the constructive, nation-building ST carried a big headlined article on the front of its “Home” section on how “peanutty” were the earnings of the average taxi driver. Of course, it wasn’t written that way. The headline and story were about how an enterprising taxi driver can take home S$3,000 a month. The sub- text was, however, two-fold:
— S$3,000 wasn’t that much, taking into account the long hours, worked; and
— most tax- drivers took home S$1,500. “Peanuts” by any reasonable standard. But then how come taxi drivers “cheery pick” their customers? They can’t be that poorly paid? Read this on how they “cheery pick” customers by gaming the system.
The message at this time of the year, when charities round the world, resort to emotional blackmail to part consumers from their cash, is, “Spare the taxi drivers some money, don’t complain”.
This is a variant of the government’s much vaunted tripartitism at work. Usually the parties are the government, the employers and the NTUC. Here the parties are Delgro, SPH and the taxi drivers out to con the public.
No wonder SPH, and Delgro are good dividend-paying stocks.
Update on 12 December 2011 at 9.55am
Notice how the ST and other local media are playing down the drop in the number of people taking taxis? The cabbies they are quoting are talking rubbish. They notice the drop, blame it on the fare rises, but then say its the school hols. Sigh.