Updated: Apr 28, 2020
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has confirmed he spoke directly to the London Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) to discuss the self-employed package put in place by the government to help those struggling with finances.
In response to a question by Sir Edward Davey, Liberal Democrat MP for Kingston and Surbiton, asking if a scheme could be put in place sooner to help self-employed workers, Sunak said the current package put in place was supported by the the London taxi representatives at the time.
Millions of self-employed individuals are set to receive direct payments through a UK-wide scheme to help them during the coronavirus outbreak.
Sunak replied in full to Davey saying: “The right hon. Gentleman mentioned groups that I engaged with specifically in the design of the self-employed scheme, and who I am fairly certain released reasonably positive comments on the day it was released, notably the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association and, I believe, one of the musicians’ federations. I spoke to them both personally as we developed the scheme, and I believe that they were very supportive at the time.
”We have designed these schemes at pace to get support to as many people as we can in the time available, and the decisions that we have taken enable that. At this point, complicated changes to the schemes would just mean delay in getting support to millions of people who are either already in receipt of it or very shortly about to receive it.”
The income support scheme will cover the three months to end of May, and will be paid in a single lump sum in June.
The length of the interim period has continued to raise concerns as many drivers have said they are struggling to keep their heads above water with work levels literally at zero for cabbies around the UK.
Image credit: HM Treasury