Fianna Fáil T.D for Dublin North West, Paul McAuliffe, has called on the Government to provide specific supports for the taxi industry.

Deputy McAuliffe commented, “COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the lives of many people including those within the taxi industry. While we have rightly seen supports targeted at other sectors, we have not seen the same action for self-employed taxi drivers.

“Everyone acknowledges that it will be some time before the economy fully recovers and taxi drivers see their earnings return to pre-Covid levels. In comparison to other industries, the taxi sector has received very little support.

“According to the National Transport Authority, taxi drivers have annual fixed costs of €11,433. We must ensure that drivers who have been paying insurance costs and car repayments out of their Pandemic Unemployment Payment are adequately supported.

“The industry is requesting an extension of the ten-year rule, a waiver for renewal of licence fees, a financial plan with supports for drivers to get back to work and grants to offset fixed costs. A moratorium on the issuing of new licences until available work approaches pre pandemic times has also been requested by industry representatives.

“I am of the view that the Taxi Advisory Committee needs more representatives from the industry itself who are best placed to articulate the view of industry personnel. I am calling on the Government to look at both solutions and supports which will aid the recovery of the industry, ” concluded Deputy McAuliffe.