A new fund to support taxi and private hire drivers affected by the pandemic will launch this week in Scotland.
Local authorities will directly approach an estimated 38,000 private hire and taxi drivers inviting them to claim a £1,500 grant to assist with fixed costs, boosting the support from other funding for loss of income available through the Scottish and UK Governments.
A new total of £57 million has been allocated by the Scottish Government – three times more than the allocation announced in December.
Councils will start contacting eligible drivers this week to brief them on their potential entitlement and ask them to provide supporting information and bank account details. They do not need to apply, or contact the local authority.
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said:
“We know how difficult this pandemic has been for taxi drivers and their families. They’ve truly gone the extra mile, continuing to provide a vital service for key workers and vulnerable individuals throughout the lockdown and beyond.
“Following the introduction of tighter regulations at Christmas I have trebled the budget originally announced for this fund to £57 million, enough to provide grants of £1,500 to all of Scotland’s 38,000 taxi and private hire drivers.
“It will help to support the taxi trade by augmenting existing support and assisting drivers in meeting fixed costs including licence plate fees, rental fees and insurance payments for taxis not on the road.”
To be eligible for this financial assistance taxi or private hire drivers must be licensed for the period 9 October 2020 to at least 31 January 2021. Applicants can choose whether the payment is made to a business or personal bank account.
More details and full eligibility criteria available here.
Other schemes open to taxi drivers include the Scottish Government’s COVID-19 Public Transport Mitigation Fund and the UK Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
The Scottish Government has allocated £3 billion in business support since the start of the pandemic on top of support available through the UK Government.