Taxi drivers in Northern Ireland will be able to apply for an industry targeted financial assistance pay-out on 13 November, after the Government announced additional support for the trade which has been greatly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The online scheme will provide a one off payment of £1,500 to any taxi driver who can prove that they have been impacted by COVID-19 by way of loss of earnings.
In a letter seen by TaxiPoint, it states: “The scheme is open to eligible taxi drivers under the Taxi Driver (coronavirus, Financial Assistance) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 through the powers conferred by section 1 and 3 of The Financial Assistance Act (Northern Ireland) 2009.
”To be eligible for financial assistance, taxi drivers must satisfy the Department that, between 22 March 2020 and 30 September 2020, they have experienced significant loss of income and meet the following criteria:
were working or available for work as a self-employed taxi driver;
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 driver for hire and reward.
According to the letter, the application process will be open from 13 November until 27 November.
Although the one off payment may seem like a nice boost for drivers, who have no doubt been struggling due to lockdown rules and many people working from home, the Northern Ireland Taxi Group have highlighted that the £1,500 per driver support package amounts to less than £10 per day to pay bills and buy food.
As reported by TaxiPoint, The Northern Ireland Taxi Group have called on the NI Assembly to provide drivers with better support.