asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is aware of wide spread trafficking in taxi licences; and if he will seek power to take action to eliminate this practice.
Dr. Dickson Mabon
The control of taxicabs in Scottish burghs is entirely a matter for the magistrates and I do not think that further legislation is necessary.
Is my hon. Friend aware that in the Glasgow region sums in excess of £1,000 are being paid, ostensibly for the purpose of buying a taxicab? In fact the major proportion of the sum is for the licence, because the vehicle in question has a market value somewhere in the region of £150 or £200. Does my hon. Friend conside: that this black market is a desirable state of affairs, or does he think that there should be action?
If such a black market exists, then, of course, it is not desirable. But I think that the point is whether or not magistrates consider their powers adequate to deal with this. This is the substance of the question, and the answer is that the Secretary of State has no knowledge that the present powers are inadequate.