Liverpool taxi drivers, who are facing a huge income blow due to the pandemic, will now be receiving grants of up to £210 from Liverpool City Council.
Currently, there are 3,886 licensed drivers in Liverpool, and have hit hard due to sudden decline of hospitality industry throughout the pandemic months. The council said this monetary help is a refund, which drivers pay every year. Both black cab and private hire drivers have seen their business getting down and finding very difficult to manage due to social distancing problem.
Under this refund scheme, the council has set aside £10 million covering £663, 400. The council said this refund to taxi drivers will help to overcome the impact of COVID-19 trading restrictions in visitor.
Speaking to the cabinet, Mayor Joe Anderson said the grant is a gesture but is also aware it will not be solving driver’s issues. He said, “I know how incredibly difficult this year has been for taxi drivers, with the lockdown from March and the new restrictions that have recently been placed on Liverpool City Region. “It is particularly tough for them now because – as I have been saying repeatedly over the last few weeks – the support package made available by the government is simply not good enough.
The taxi trade is a valued part of the city’s economy, particularly as they are among the first people that visitors to our city meet. So this is our way of doing what we can to assist them during these unprecedented times.”
Since, October 14, Liverpool is facing tier three lockdown, which means pubs and restaurants must shut unless they have extra meals.
However, this financial assistance is not making happy to all drivers. A pandemic sufferer driver said, trade was “suffering due to a lack of business”, but as he rented his vehicle, which brings him only receive £40. “This, to me, is an insult and I will refuse the pathetic offer,” he said.
He said, he would rather donate the money to school means fund.
Loss of Income
According to the RMT, the union representing transport, around 80,000 taxi drivers in the UK were under huge financial loss during the pandemic.
Earlier during the month of May, when the lockdown was in full-roll, the union said, the driver can claim 80% of their earnings under the government measures, but will only receive post June.
Many driver throughout the lockdown have lost their income. This forced them to take up the financial help from the government. Many are still scared of being exposed to the virus. Mr Chowdry, who lives in Birmingham, rented the taxi from the firm was scared to go on a ride.
They just tell us to keep the car clean but nobody talks about us,” he said. “It is scary,” he said. “I’m scared when I go to my house and see my kids.”
Many drivers claim that union and government has forgotten them. No one cares, it just devastating. Their income is dwindling.