The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) yesterday contacted the government to express the need for ‘urgent financial assistance’ as the taxi industry around the UK grinds to a halt.
In a letter sent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak MP, they made clear that "without income, my members and their families will struggle to pay their bills and to afford finance payments".
According to the LTDA’s General Secretary, the coronavirus pandemic has "rendered over 20,000 self-employed cabbies in London essentially redundant".
In a bid to improve the situation, taxi rental firms have slashed the price of rental vehicles in the coming weeks and months. However, some drivers still fear that this measure will not be enough based on current work levels in the capital.
In the letter, Steve McNamara, General Secretary of LTDA, wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer saying: "I am writing as the General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association to you to request urgent financial assistance for black cab drivers who are facing an unprecedented drop in demand for our services. As I’m sure is the case across the country, the government advice to only travel if necessary has rendered over 20,000 self-employed cabbies in London essentially redundant.
"Black cab drivers are the backbone of London, keeping business and communities moving, and I have no doubt they will be again when this crisis eventually abates. In the meantime however we are in urgent need of support.
"Without income, my members and their families will struggle to pay their bills and to afford finance payments. We need to see tax concessions and financial support for self-employed workers including London black cab drivers as a matter of urgency.
"I am requesting a meeting with you at your earliest convenience to discuss what action the Government can take to ensure that taxi drivers and our families are not plunged into dire straits. With such a sudden fall in custom, we cannot afford to wait."
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