Taxi drivers without work as pubs and clubs remain shuttered

ireland
Taxi Drivers Without Work As Pubs And Clubs Remain Shuttered
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Digital Desk staff

Taxi drivers say there is little hope for the sector as they have been hit hard by a lack of trade from live music, pubs and nightclubs due to the Covid-19 crisis.

Four taxi groups are calling for grants to help drivers get back into the industry before the Oireachtas Covid-19 committee today, which is discussing the impact of the pandemic on public transport.

Spokesperson for the National Private Hire and Taxi Association, Jim Waldron, says weekend trade has dried up during the crisis:

“82 per cent of taxi drivers are at work on a Friday evening, surveys have shown this, and obviously there’s no Friday night work and no Saturday night work.”

[There’s] very little work coming out of the pubs and the clubs now at the moment, and there’s no bright future there either, it doesn’t seem as though the nightclubs will be open for a long time.

The National Private Hire and Taxi Association, The Irish Taxi Drivers Federation, Taxi Tománaí na hÉireann and Taxi Alliance of Ireland are attending the meeting.

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Mr Waldron outlines what the groups are seeking from the Government:

“We’re looking for the age limit on a car to be extended, at the moment it’s ten years but we’re looking for it to be extended to twelve years, that’s for all cars within the industry at the moment.

We’re looking for subsidised driving, in other words, we’re looking for the government to give us, like a back to work grant that people obviously get when they’re going back into industry, and we’re looking for start-up grants as well towards our fixed costs, which run at about €11,000 per year.”

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