Despite the delayed easing of COVID-19 limitations, the minister maintains there are no plans to provide trade-specific financial assistance to taxi drivers and operators in the future.
Cabbies and taxi drivers should instead seek assistance from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and their local government, according to the Department for Transport (DfT).
“What plans he has to make further financial support available to taxi businesses and drivers in response to the delayed relaxation of the COVID-19 restrictions originally planned for 21 June 2021,” Alberto Costa, a Conservative MP for South Leicestershire, asked the Secretary of State for Transport.
In responding to the Costa’s remark, Rachel Machlean, DFT Minister said, “The Government has announced several measures available to UK businesses, including the taxi and private hire sector, to support them through the pandemic. The majority of taxi and PHV drivers are self-employed and can therefore apply for grants through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).”
“On 3 March, the Chancellor announced that the fourth SEISS grant will be set at 80% of 3 months average trading profits paid out in a single instalment, capped at £7,500”.
“A fifth grants covering May 2021 to September 2021 will be open to claims from late July 2021. The amount awarded will be determined by how much an operator’s turnover has been reduced in the year April 2020 to April 2021.
According to the research, there are more than 15% of taxi and Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) drivers who did not receive any financial support from the Government or Local Authority during the pandemic period.
Since the limitations were initially implemented in March 2020, the coronavirus epidemic has had a catastrophic financial impact on the taxi and PHV industries.
Many drivers are registered as Self-Employed (96.4). However, nearly one in five of those taxi and private drivers have failed to receive any Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grants throughout the pandemic.
Only 23.9 percent of individuals who were unable to get SEISS grant funds got Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG), Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG), Scottish Government Grants, or other sources of financing.
Similarly, cabbies driving in Northern Ireland received a marginal amount of financial support across the UK with 16.7%. Moreover, Scottish drivers were the most supported ones with 13.3% of cabbies lacking any type of funding.