Key measures are needed to help local taxi drivers

Taxi drivers need help from the government.
Kevin Brennan MP has written to the Chancellor after receiving representations from local taxi drivers who are being backed by UNITE the Union.

Many of the drivers have been badly hit by their loss of trade in the current crisis and are facing genuine hardship and financial distress despite measures the government has already introduced.

Mr Brennan has written to the UK government and urged them to look at a number of measures and issues which local taxi drivers have raised.

These include:

Wage support is needed straight away without having to wait until June.

• No means testing of Universal Credit or other benefits.

• Suspending or reducing all taxi related running costs, including licence plate fees, monthly radio fees, rental fees and insurance payments for taxis not on the road. This would include lifting the age limit on vehicles for those that may need to be changed within this next three months, to be suspended until late December.

• Backing loan repayment holidays for private hire vehicles and moratoriums on marking down drivers’ credit files.

• Emergency interim payments to keep the taxi on the road.

• Reviewing the licensing regime and stop all payments for licences, with a three month temporary extension for those expected to renew in the next 12 months.

It is important to know that Hackney cabs are fully licenced and DBS checked, clean, safe and wheelchair accessible. They are also equipped with a glass partition separating driver from passenger. The Government could also help by sub-contracting taxi drivers, as appropriate, to do the following important work:

• Transport patients to and from non-emergency appointments.
• Deliver shopping for the elderly or transport them to and from supermarkets
• Transport NHS and other groups of key workers to work
• Where appropriate delivering medical supplies.