TAXI S.O.S: Drivers say their lives are only worth 27 pence a day
Image of a black cab taxi
Taxi and private hire drivers in Merseyside are “risking their lives for 27 pence a day”, according to union reps.
North West Taxi Association rep Trevor Jones says the service is the “forgotten trade” and that drivers should be entitled to similar financial Covid support as other business-owners.
Trevor said: “We are small business-owners, it’s just that our business is sat on our driveways rather than in a building.
“We have to pay rates and insurance and have other outgoings, same as anyone else.
“Drivers in Sefton have had a £100 grant since the pandemic began. That equates to around 27 pence per day.
“Those in Liverpool have had £210, which is still a pittance. Drivers in other parts of the country have had significantly more.”
Drivers in Bury are entitled to up to £677 per month in grant support, according to a tweet sent out by Bury North Labour this week.
Those in Sheffield have been given a one-off £500 grant.
According to a report in the Evening Standard, taxi drivers are among the groups at highest risk of dying from coronavirus.
Trevor continued: “We are putting our lives on the line for 27 pence a day. That is what our lives must be worth.
“Not to mention, drivers are now at risk of having their cars… even their homes, repossessed. It’s not right.”
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority says it continues to lobby for more financial support for drivers.
Their spokesman said: “We are acutely aware of the financial plight that taxi drivers in the city region and beyond are experiencing. The Combined Authority and our six local authorities have done what we can to support this important trade, establishing a fund of up to £1.5 million to help cover the costs of licences for taxi drivers resident in the Liverpool City Region.
“We said when we launched the fund that it was a gesture and that we needed government to step up and provide a much more comprehensive package of support for those affected by the pandemic but excluded from national support packages.
“We have continued to lobby for that substantial support and just this week the Metro Mayor has again written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Transport, calling on them to take action. ”
Words: Kate Lally, Local Democracy Reporter
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