Government’s financial bailout scheme will come “too late for many cab drivers” in Liverpool says MP
The government’s financial bailout scheme will come “too late for many cab drivers” in Liverpool says MP.
Ian Byrne, MP for West Derby, wrote to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Tuesday to express his concerns for both the taxi and private hire industries in the Liverpool area.
The Labour MP urged government to help cab drivers financially by providing the Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme payments earlier than the planned June dates proposed.
In the letter supported and undersigned by four other MPs in the Merseyside area, Byrne expressed how the early payments would help taxi drivers “avoid the total collapse of an historic and vital trade”.
Ian Byrne MP wrote in his letter the Chancellor: “I am writing to ask you to provide an emergency financial rescue package for self-employed Hackney and private hire taxi drivers in my constituency of West Derby and across the city of Liverpool.
“I have been contacted by several cab drivers who are facing imminent financial ruin.
“Self-employed Hackney and private hire cab drivers have been informed that they are eligible to apply for the Governments Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme - which is of course to be welcomed. However, the funds awarded by this scheme will not be paid out until June, backdated to cover income lost during March, April and May.
”Quite simply, this bailout scheme will come too late for many cab drivers.
“I am familiar with how hard it can be to make ends meet as a cab driver in ordinary times, let alone during a global pandemic, having driven a cab for a time following redundancy several years ago. Many cab drivers survive on a day-to-day basis, with many struggling to support their family and meet the running costs of a cab. Already in Liverpool we have cab drivers with no income whatsoever and no sight of when they will next be earning.
“Chancellor, an emergency financial aid package is urgently needed; it cannot wait until June. I am requesting that the Government steps in immediately to help our self-employed Hackney and private hire taxi drivers and their families survive this crisis and to avoid the total collapse of an historic and vital trade.
“Will the Government make available an urgent emergency payment to all self-employed Hackney and private hire taxi drivers in Liverpool in order to ensure they have sufficient funds to cover essential costs prior to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme funds becoming available in June?”
Image credit: Ross Campbell