This new scheme will provide financial assistance to taxi-drivers whose insurance did not cover the full six month period of the existing scheme and will provide further assistance for all drivers from 1st October until the end of this financial year.
Minister Mallon said:
“This pandemic continues to present very real and worrying challenges for many people. Recognising this I am bringing in a further financial assistance scheme for taxi-drivers. This means that drivers who have benefitted from the first £1500 scheme will be eligible to apply for a further £1500 towards unavoidable overhead costs. The first scheme provided payments of £1500 to over 4100 taxi drivers, with some 90% of applications being processed for payment by the end of this week. The remaining applications unfortunately did not meet the criteria for the scheme due to discontinuous insurance cover.
I understand why some of these drivers changed their insurance so they could save money when they could not get any work. I have always been focused on helping those in need and that is why the second scheme will provide a payment to them based on the period of time that registered drivers had the relevant insurance to drive a taxi.”
Concluding the Minister said:
“This scheme will open in early February once all of the required regulations are in place. As I demonstrated with the first financial assistance scheme, my priority is to get the scheme opened as quickly as possible and for processing and payments to be made to eligible taxi-drivers without delay. My Department will publish further details and ensure that steps are put in place to ensure clear communication with drivers as quickly as possible.”
Details about eligibility requirements and how to apply will be made available as soon as possible.
On 13th November, following Executive agreement, a Taxi Driver Financial Assistance Scheme was launched for two weeks, closing on 27th November.
In order to ensure value for money, the scheme was dependent on actual expenses having been incurred during the period 22nd March 2020 up to 30th September 2020. Taxi-drivers who had incurred the overhead expenditure were eligible for the payment of £1500.