Union fights for more support for Falkirk taxi drivers
Taxi drivers are not getting the support they need as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease according to union Unite.
Taxi drivers and operators were among the professions and businesses worst hit by the pandemic as demand for their services decreased massively for much of the last year.
Now Unite has accused Scottish finance secretary Kate Forbes of short-changing struggling taxi and private hire drivers, stating a new support package “falls way short” of what is needed to stabilise the trade.
An estimated 37,000 taxi and private hire operators will receive up to an additional £62 million, which amounts to either £1000 if they operate single cabs or £3000 for up to nine.
Drivers who previously received £1500 will receive an additional payment of £1500.
Taxi operators will be contacted by their local authorities this month and will also receive grants of up to £10,000 depending on the number of vehicle licences they hold.
Unite has repeatedly called on the Scottish Government to deliver a £10,000 grant for each taxi operator irrespective of size, which is the equivalent support being given to all other small business owners.
Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “The pleas of many within the trade have been ignored. This announcement falls way short for the vast majority of operators who manage less than ten cabs, and who continue to face high fixed costs at a time when the trade remains in crisis.
“The Scottish Government have rowed back on their manifesto commitments and Unite will continue to fight for a substantial and long-term financial solution to the crisis our members face in the taxi trade.”