Taxi drivers will receive a second £1,500 coronavirus support grant from Scottish Government, it was announced today.
Taxi operators will also be contacted by their local authorities and receive tiered grants taking their total support up to £10,000.
Taxi drivers and operators across Scotland will receive up to an additional £62million of funding, bringing the total support for the sector during the pandemic to more than £90million.
The news forms part of plans put in place today to seize Scotland’s economic potential and create secure, sustainable and satisfying jobs and supporting businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
At today’s Economic Recovery Debate, Ms Forbes said: “We have also allocated up to £62million for taxi drivers and operators, bringing the total support for the taxi sector during the pandemic to more than £90million.
“All drivers who previously received a £1,500 grant under the Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund will receive a second payment this month. Taxi operators will then be contacted by their local authorities and receive tiered grants taking their total support up to £10,000.
“Following discussions with sector representatives a small number of the very largest operators will now be paid up to £15,000. And we will work with the sector to explore the potential for additional support for the booking offices which are such an important part of the sector.”
For taxi operators struggling financially as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, they may be eligible for a grant based on the number of vehicle licences they hold:
owner/operators with one vehicle - a single award of £1,000
owner/operators with 2 to 9 vehicles - a single award of £3,000
owner/operators with 10 to 49 vehicles - a single award of £7,000
owner/operators with 50 or more vehicles - a single award of £15,000
If an operator is eligible for a grant, their local authority will get in touch with them direct.
To be eligible for the taxi driver grant, drivers must:
have previously received a grant from the Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund earlier in 2021
have a current local authority taxi or private hire driver licence which is valid as at 3 June 2021.
To be eligible for the taxi operators fund, operators must:
be an individual or company holding a valid taxi or private hire vehicle licence as at 3 June 2021
have experienced loss of income (50% of turnover, compared with 2019) and incurred overhead costs and expenses (confirmed by self-certification).
In addition, taxi and private hire drivers and operators applying for support must not:
have breached COVID-19 regulations
have connections to tax havens, as set out in the coronavirus regulations.
According to the Government’s ’Find Business Support‘ website, the Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed that any grants received through the Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Driver Support Fund will not affect any Universal Credit payments they are receiving. Drivers and operators will still need to declare the grant to the Department for Work and Pensions.
Local authorities will contact drivers and automatically pay the grant to them if they are eligible. Local councils will begin to process payments towards the end of week commencing 7 June 2021, or earlier if possible.
For taxi operators, local authorities will contact them to confirm their status and progress applications. Local councils will begin to contact all eligible vehicle licence holders from mid-June, and will aim to make payments in June/July, provided they have received all supporting information required.