A one-off payment support fund made available by Scottish Government is now open for the country’s taxi drivers to apply for, following months of calls from within the industry to offer financial aid to the struggling trade.
Each driver who is eligible for the payment will receive £1,500. The fund is available to taxi and private hire car drivers, and is to be applied for through a driver’s licensing authority.
Eligibility will depend on the following:
Who is eligible:
Those who hold a valid taxi driver licence or private hire driver licence for the period 9 October 2020 to at least 31 January 2021.
Licensed taxi or private hire drivers who have incurred overhead costs and expenses and experienced loss of income up to 31 December 2020 (50% of turnover, compared with 2019).
Have been working or available for work as a taxi or private hire driver up to 31 December.
Who cannot apply:
Excludes any drivers who had their taxi driver licence or private hire driver licence suspended for any period between 9 October to 31 December 2020.
Drivers can only apply once, through one licensing authority.
Additional criteria was originally put in place by Scottish Government which caused uproar from drivers and trade representatives. As part of the initial criteria, those drivers who had claimed state benefits, in the way of Universal Credit, were to be excluded from the grant.
But after hard consideration, Scottish Government amended the criteria to retract that particular condition; a decision welcomed by drivers and trade representatives.
Speaking of the decision to allow drivers on Universal Credit access to the grant, Glasgow Taxis told Taxipoint: “Glasgow Taxis is pleased that the Government has listened to our concerns and updated the criteria for grants so that it can reach more drivers. Our thanks, in particular, to James Hepburn.
”We will continue to make the case for assistance which can help individuals and businesses across the taxi trade.”