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Taxi drivers needed to be "compensated" and "paid to stay at home" says Shadow Minister


Image credit: LEVC

Shadow Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Catherine West, has said that those people working in "insecure" roles, such as taxi drivers and security guards, needed to be compensated and paid to stay at home as part of an isolation strategy.


Speaking at a parliamentary discussion, West raised her concerns that the Government failed to put a strategy in place soon enough to tackle the latest wave of COVID figures.

West said: "I put on record my regrets that we did not tackle the isolation strategy with enough energy, and with enough understanding of the lives of people who work in insecure roles, who desperately need to be compensated, whether taxi driving or being a security guard."


She went on to add that more than 3 million people have been excluded from financial support because they don't meet to required criteria, stressing that people are feeling "absolutely desperate" now with their current plight.

Although not considered 'key-workers', taxi drivers have continued to work throughout the pandemic as they do not fit into the 'work from home' criteria.


Because of the financial strains put on such workers, some drivers have felt they have no other option but to continue to operate despite running the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Many taxi and private hire drivers are eligible to apply for the SEISS (Self Employed Income Support Scheme) grant made available by the Government, but have stressed as the pay out is based on a percentage of profits it may not cover all overheads.


Some licensing authorities up and down the UK have stepped in to assist drivers with additional one-off payments to help financially, but with such limited funds, many of the offers are said to fall short of what's needed.


Those eligible for the SEISS grants will be able to apply for a fourth in the coming months, although at what percentage it is being offered at is yet to be announced.

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