A bespoke coronavirus support package worth £14million to the Northern Ireland taxi industry has been agreed according to a Ministerial source.
Nichola Mallon, Northern Ireland’s Infrastructure Minister, announced the long-awaited news on social media saying she was "pleased that after being given new powers on Saturday night, I've today secured Executive support for a new scheme”.
A total of £19million of extra support was announced for the taxi, bus operator and private coach sector. Taxi drivers will receive £14million of the funding with the remaining £5million shared between coach and bus companies.
Earlier this week the First Minister and deputy First Minister conferred the necessary powers on the Infrastructure Minister to administer the schemes, which were developed urgently.
The funding package will complement the existing Executive schemes which are being progressed to provide support to other sectors impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this week First Minister Arlene Foster said: “COVID-19 has had an enormously damaging impact on all sectors of business and services.
“The operators of taxis, private buses and coaches have faced a significant reduction in demand for their services, yet their overheads have continued. It is absolutely right that they should be able to avail of financial assistance to sustain them through this difficult time and I hope they will take some comfort in the knowledge that support will be forthcoming.”