Taxi drivers across East Dunbartonshire are set to receive up to £1500 in new Scottish Government support in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible drivers will be able to claim the £1,500 grant to cover fixed costs, boosting the support available to them by the Scottish Government. During the pandemic, many drivers across the region has seen trade slow to a halt as a result of the ‘stay at home’ message. The fund was amended by the Scottish Government to ensure those drivers on the lowest incomes who claim legacy benefits – Universal Credit, Job Seekers Allowance and others – have informed support on their grant options. It is feared that, without intervention from the UK Government, those drivers on Universal Credit may have their welfare decreased as a result of this vital Scottish Government support.
SNP MSP Rona Mackay has expressed her delight that taxi and private hire drivers in Strathkelvin and Bearsden will have access to three times the amount of Scottish Government support than they did last year.
A total fund of £57million has been available to taxi and private hire drivers – three times more than the allocated funding in December.
Commenting Rona said:
“I am delighted the SNP Scottish Government has increased the funding available to taxi and private hire drivers. Many of these drivers in Strathkelvin and Bearsden have gone above and beyond the call of duty by providing transport for key workers and taking people safely to hospital appointments.
“This substantial increase in support for them is the recognition they deserve in what has been a tough time for the industry due to the lockdown restrictions.
“Despite the restrictions, many fixed costs still remain for drivers, such as general maintenance, licence plate fees, rental fees and insurance payments. It is hoped that the increase in funding will cover these expensive costs. "Whilst this support is vital, no driver in my constituency should be docked their Universal Credit or other benefits as a result. I call on the UK Government to ensure no driver is penalised or has their welfare docked because the Scottish Government has supported those in need.
“The allocation of this funding will be distributed by local authorities. I would urge East Dunbartonshire Council to contact drivers as quickly as possible to ensure they can receive this support.”
More info on eligibility can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-taxi-and-private-hire-driver-support-fund/