Fresh calls have been made for taxi drivers in Northern Ireland to receive more financial support during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Stormont Executive via Nichola Mallon has already offered the taxi industry £1500 per driver to help with the extra costs of COVID-19 and the loss of income.
But 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 many drivers haven't worked due to shielding and have fallen through the different grants' schemes gaps.
The Northern Ireland Taxi Group are now calling on the NI Assembly to provide drivers with better support.
Speaking after the Executive meeting where the £14million support fund was agreed, Minister Mallon said:
“COVID-19 has presented many challenges and worries and has been an unprecedented time for everybody not least those in the taxi, private bus and coach industry.
“With the introduction of restrictions from the beginning of the pandemic, affecting schools, hospitality, tourism, sport and many other areas of normal life, these businesses have been severely impacted and many face an uncertain future.
“Over the last few months I have met representatives from these businesses and heard at first-hand how their lives and livelihoods have been affected. I am therefore very pleased today to announce that a £19m Support Fund will open in the next few weeks.”
The petition launched by the Northern Ireland Taxi Group can be found at Petition Online.