Updated: Apr 8
Aberdeen City Council (ACC) are set to provide the city’s taxi drivers a much needed boost by giving current recipients of Taxi Fund support with an additional top up grant of £1,000 each.
A total of £860,000 extra support for taxi and private hire drivers is being made available in Aberdeen City. The discretionary top up payment will be paid automatically in the next fortnight and is in addition to the £1,500 which has already been paid out to eligible licence holders.
With the restrictions on travel and reduction in footfall, taxi and private hire drivers in the city have faced significant challenges as direct result of the pandemic. The extra support recognises those challenges and aims to address some of the hardship encountered to date.
ACC say there is no need for drivers to reapply, as the council is contacting eligible drivers to arrange the top-up payments to be made into their nominated bank accounts.
The Scottish Government’s Taxi Driver and Private Hire Fund closed on 25 March, with ACC administering and disbursing £1,278,000 to date to drivers in the city.
Aberdeen City Council has received a total of £6m through the £120m Local Authorities Discretionary Fund. The Council allocated over £1.3m in the first phase, while the second phase remains open for other businesses that have not received other support since October and can evidence a loss of income linked to COVID-19 restrictions.
Last week Scottish taxi drivers financially struggling due to the devastating impact of coronavirus branded the support available to cabbies as a ‘postcode lottery’.
Representatives from Unite Glasgow Cab Section have heavily criticised the varying levels of financial grants. The specific taxi and private hire grants start from £1,500, but can be topped-up by local authorities to the value of £4,000 based solely on where the taxi driver lives or is licensed.
The frustration followed news that drivers licensed with Angus Council will now get an additional £2,500 financial support grant, on top of an initial £1,500 from a first nationwide grant made available.
Almost £1m extra support for drivers was also made available in Dundee by the city’s council. The money will provide a discretionary top up of £1,000 in addition to the £1,500 which has already been paid out.