The government's self-employed grant scheme put in place to help those whose work has been impacted financially may get extended if needed, according to the Department for Transport.
During written question time, the Chair of the Finance Committee, Lilian Greenwood, asked the Secretary of State for Transport "what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on taxis and private hire drivers; and what steps his Department is taking to support that sector?”
In reply, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department for Transport, Rachel Maclean, said: "The Department is aware of the issues being faced by the taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) sector and are working with the industry to understand the particular pressures they are facing.
"The Self-employment Income Support Scheme will allow taxi and PHV drivers to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the 3-month period from April to June. This may be extended if needed."
The government are yet to announce any additional support for self-employed workers beyond the initial package, but if the possibility of an extension is viable, those industries such as the taxi and private hire sectors, who are unable to work from home and are unlikely to see a big enough upturn in work for a while, will no doubt welcome such efforts.
Many of the self-employed around the UK will be completing online applications to find out if they are eligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) over the next few days, but concerns have been raised over whether payments will be enough to see taxi and private hire drivers through these unprecedented times.
With the government’s announcement that those who can work from home must continue to do so despite lockdown rules starting to ease, taxi and private hire drivers still wait unknowing when the industry has any chance of picking up.
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