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TAXI SUPPORT: Chancellor contacted as ongoing ‘POSTCODE LOTTERY’ frustrates LTDA

A key London taxi representative has shared his frustration at the ongoing funding ‘POSTCODE LOTTERY’, as only some local authorities choose to help cabbies through the recent Omicron restrictions.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) has contacted the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to express the need for more widespread support to help cover the costs of all drivers since workers were forced to work from home in mid-December.

This week the Prime Minster Boris Johnson made public plans to drop working from home requirements. January is widely regarded as the quietist month for business and is commonly referred to as ‘Kipper Season’. Since the turn of the year cabbies have had to tackle the seasonal downturn in work, coupled with lower journeys caused by restrictions still in place. Drivers also experienced low work levels during a normally busy Christmas period.

Steve McNamara, LTDA General Secretary, said in TAXI Magazine: “The current lockdown, Boris may pretend is not a lockdown to avoid paying the grants and loans needed – but telling people to work from home has once again impacted our business and that of hospitality and it’s simply a lockdown by another name.

“The only support that has been offered is an Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) the money is supposed to be distributed to support businesses that are severely impacted by coronavirus restrictions and the rise of the Omicron variant, when most needed. A quick glance down any London street or at any taxi rank where the vast majority of taxis are as empty as the streets, should be all the proof that any local authority needs that taxi drivers meet those criteria – we are suffering, yet again!

“Unfortunately, there is no set procedure or even proper guidelines to inform local authorities how to decide who does, and who does not qualify. Some councils will allocate funds to cabbies, others will not. Some councils will only allocate a grant to cabbies licensed by them, irrespective of where they live, others will only fund those that are licensed and live in their area, and some will fund cabbies who live in their area irrespective of where they are licensed. As a result, it’s a postcode lottery and once again I have written to the Chancellor asking that he sorts this mess out and ensures that the money goes to those who need it.”


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