Help taxi and private hire drivers "straight away" instead of waiting until June say Unite Union

Unite the Union have launched a campaign to get financial aid for taxi and private hire drivers pushed forward to immediate payment rather than June.

The Union are arguing if payments are made now, allowing drivers to stay ontop of their finances, the focus can be put on them supporting emergency services.

Taxi and private hire drivers have been urging the government to utilise them to assist transportation of NHS workers, medicine and food during the coronavirus pandemic, but with no financial income drivers have been left struggling to pull together enough funds to cover their overheads.

The Union has launched a campaign asking the Prime Minister to consider immediate payment to hackney carriage taxi drivers and private hire drivers.

Unite the Union, wrote: "Dear Prime Minister, taxi drivers are self-employed - the chancellor's offer of 80% of earnings up to £2,500 a month to the country's 5 million self-employed workers, giving them pay parity with employees is very much welcomed.

"But making them wait until June to be paid is not. We need wage support now. Support us and we can help support the emergency services."

The Union went on to highlight a number of major factors which they say need addressing to help drivers stay active and ready for immediate deployment if required by the government;

  • Wage support straight away. No delay, until June.

  • No means testing of Universal Credit or other benefits.

  • Suspending or reducing all taxi related running costs, including licence plate fees, monthly radio fees, rental fees and insurance payments for taxis not on the road.

  • Backing loan repayment holidays for private hire vehicles and moratoriums on marking down drivers' credit files.

  • Emergency interim payments to keep the taxi on the road.

  • Reviewing the licensing regime and stop all payments for licences, with a three month temporary extension for those expected to renew in the next 12 months.

"With these financial support measures, Unite taxi and private hire driver members stand ready to support our emergency services," they added.

Continuing, the Union wrote: "We're fully licenced and DBS checked. Clean, safe and wheelchair accessible. Equipped with a glass partition separating driver from passenger.

"Unite hackney carriage and private hire drivers are ready to talk."

Image credit: LEVC/Unite the Union

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