UK taxi drivers face prospect of going under unless new measures to help self-employed are created

Taxi drivers across the UK are facing tough times, with some under threat of going out of business, unless measures to help self-employed are created.

Taxi fleet owners who rent the vehicles to drivers have been slashing the costs in a bid to help drivers break even on their outgoings. The discounts have ranged between 20-35%, but drivers still fear this will not be enough to carry on working.

One card payment provider to the industry, Cabvision, has also reduced the fees drivers pay during the months of March and April.

In France, the French president Emmanuel Macron announced support for health workers by allowing them to use taxis and hotels paid for by the state.

Macron also announced that the state would provide over £320billion worth of loans to companies and seek to waiver tax payments.

He also added that small business would have bills suspended in a bid to limit the damage to the self-employed.

In the UK, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, met the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to discuss similar measures last night. Corbyn said via social media: “Tonight I met the PM and pressed for support for those affected by coronavirus, including rent deferrals, mortgage holidays, higher statutory sick pay and income protection for insecure, low-paid and self-employed workers.

“It’s essential for both public health and social justice.”

In London, where officials confirmed the outbreak had grown faster than anywhere else in the UK, transport officials paid thanks to the workers on the mass tube and buss transport networks.

Heidi Alexander, Deputy Mayor of London for Transport, said in a tweet: “To the train operators, bus drivers, maintenance crews, tube cleaners & station staff, who are enabling other essential workers to get around today - thank you. You’re London’s unsung heroes.”

Across the UK, taxi drivers are willing to step up in a bid to not only help save their own businesses, but also help the most vulnerable in society.

One taxi driver from Liverpool said: “Worrying times ahead for the elderly if they have to self quarantine for weeks/months.

“If Liverpool City Council need any help moving or delivering people, equipment, food or prescriptions etc you’ve got a fleet of 1,500 cabs ready and waiting.

“I for one volunteer Mayor Anderson.”

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