18 May 2020
Eltham MP Calls For “Financial Aid” For Taxis To Avoid “Financial Ruin”
The MP of Eltham has contacted the Transport Minister, urging him to help save taxi drivers from “financial ruin”, and temporarily re-employing them to help assist the NHS.
The MP, named Clive Efford, had been contacted by taxi drivers within his area who are “in distress” as their businesses have “dried up” completely during the lockdown.
Taxi drivers have been hit hard by the nationwide lockdown that was implemented in March. Whilst they have been allowed to continue working to help assist essential workers and the vulnerable, a large portion of their daily income has come to a halt.
A majority of drivers have even had their work so severely reduced that the income is even failing to cover operational costs. Many are also “anticipating the collapse of their business”.
The government has pledged to help with some of the problems the self-employed will be facing during the lockdown, but they face waiting up to 3 months for payment. The MP is calling for Grant Shapps (the Minister for Transport) to ensure the 82,000+ taxi drivers are properly supported so they can keep driving on our roads.
In his letter to the Department for Transport, Mr Efford states that although he supports the decision for the country to go into lockdown, it has “severely impacted the livelihood of many self-employed people”.
Mr Efford suggests emergency interim payments, supporting wages immediately, and the suspension of running costs, including licence plate fees and rental fees.
He has also suggested that taxi drivers be sub-contracted in other ways during the crisis, including helping to support NHS staff, and making deliveries of essential items for those who are more vulnerable.
“Even more importantly, the Government must look to the taxi industry as part of the solution to this crisis, not part of the problem.”
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