Around 2,000 taxi drivers applied for their one-off £1,500 grant on the opening day of the scheme going live says Northern Ireland’s Infrastructure Minister.
Nichola Mallon opened up a £14million financial support scheme for taxi-drivers in Northern Ireland on 13 November.
The bespoke scheme will provide a one-off payment of £1,500 to eligible taxi drivers, under the Taxi Driver (Coronavirus, Financial Assistance) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020.
The 2,000 claims on the first day of opening equates to cash grants to the taxi industry worth approximately £3million.
Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon, said during a session of Oral Answers to Questions at Stormont: “I was given new powers for the financial scheme on 3 November. Ten days later, I opened the taxi scheme; it opened on Friday, and, at close of play, there had been around 2,000 applications.
“I have committed to ensuring that payments for that scheme are out before Christmas, because I understand that people are finding it very difficult financially. The scheme for the bus-and-coach sector will open next week.”
For cabbies to qualify for the grant the following eligibility criteria will apply:
Cabbies must have been working or available for work as a self-employed taxi driver between 22 March 2020 and 30 September 2020;
drivers must have directly incurred overhead costs and expenses, which may include personal protective equipment expenses;
had a valid taxi driver’s licence; and
had valid taxi insurance covering driving for hire and reward.