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Uber ruling will raise prices and cut off earning opportunities for thousands, says IEA expert

Professor Len Shackleton, Editorial and Research Fellow at free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs, responded to the UK’s Supreme Court ruling that Uber must classify its drivers as workers rather than self-employed 

“This judgment will raise costs for Uber users, who are often young people who cannot afford conventional cabs. It will also reduce the availability of rides at the time people want them and squeeze out the large proportion of cab drivers who can only work part-time, as Uber will likely concentrate on a smaller number of workers who can commit to regular hours.

“A ruling which raises prices and inconveniences consumers, while cutting off earning opportunities for many thousands of workers, is hardly the great achievement hailed by the unions. When the logic is extended to other areas of the gig economy, we will see tens of thousands of young people unable to find any work at all at a time when conventional jobs will be very hard to come by.”

Notes to editors

For media enquiries, please contact Emily Carver on 07715 942 731 or

IEA spokespeople are available for further comment and interview.

For IEA reading on the future of post-pandemic work, click here.

For more on the sharing economy, watch ‘Platforms: Perils and Promise’ with Professor Michael Munger here.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.

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