Taxi drivers say they are bitterly unhappy at a help fund introduced by the Scottish authorities, as union leaders warned the money is “nowhere near enough”.
Finance secretary Kate Forbes has issued a statement confirming a assist fund of £57 million will be released this week, sufficient to offer grants of £1,500 to all of Scotland’s 38,000 taxi and non-public retain the services of motorists.
The fund is treble the amount declared by the 1st Minister on November 17 to provide dollars help to companies severely hit by Covid-19.
But motorists and union leaders have claimed that the just one-off payment is brief-switching the trade, warning a lot of facial area mounting debts to continue to keep their cars on the road when takings are down by up to eighty for each cent.
It comes just after a number of politicians blasted the Scottish govt for failing to assist having difficulties taxi motorists. Very last 7 days Ruth Davidson accused the govt of remaining “great at building announcements” but failing to get important fiscal support into fingers of organizations.
Andy Taylor, a driver from Edinburgh, claimed: “It’s good that they improved the funding but its one payment. It just feels like a kick in the enamel. Most motorists remaining on the road now will be owner operators like me so have big overheads just to continue to keep a vehicle on the street. I have had to borrow a bug sum, soon after I bought letter from debt assortment organization. I come to feel like the globe is closing in. It fees me about £1400 a thirty day period to retain car on highway but I make about 200 a 7 days just now, if I’m blessed. The debts retain mounting up. I come to feel helpless, determined and is if I am letting my spouse and children down. But we are hoping our hardest with really minor aid readily available.”
A latest survey from Unite exposed about 30 for every cent of drivers have not acquired any economical enable from federal government assist strategies.
The survey laid bare the struggle of drivers on a regular basis working 16-17-hour days with a change staying established as obtaining been ‘good’ if £50 is cleared.
Jacqueline Dunn, branch secretary for Unite, said: “We welcome the funding has greater in general but it’s nowhere in close proximity to enough. It will not make a substantial variation.
“Several are in debt, accrued considering the fact that March when the very first lockdown hit. I know some previously bankrupt. I had to halt driving taxis right after Christmas and get an additional position.
“The trade is on it is knees. Most are bringing in about 20 for each cent of typical income, although they nevertheless have 100 for every cent of fees. A just one off £1500 payment is nowhere in close proximity to ample. It will not even make a dent.”
Unite launched a petition this 7 days calling for drivers to be eligible to accessibility the Scottish government’s Strategic Framework Business enterprise Fund, which would see homeowners acquiring payments each and every 4 weeks for as prolonged as constraints are in position.
Ms Forbes claimed: “Following the introduction of tighter restrictions at Xmas I have trebled the price range originally introduced for this fund to £57 million, plenty of to supply grants of £1,500 to all of Scotland’s 38,000 taxi and private employ motorists.
“It will enable to support the taxi trade by augmenting existing assistance and aiding drivers in conference set prices.”