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Suite of measures urgently needed to support taxi drivers – Darren O’Rourke TD

12 June, 2020 - by Darren O’Rourke, Darren O Rourke TD

Sinn Féin TD for Meath East Darren O’Rourke has called on the Minister for Transport to introduce a suite of measures to assist taxi drivers across the State with the costs around getting back on the road and also the need for financial supports to remain in place until the taxi sector gets back to normal.

Teachta O’Rourke said;

“Mary Lou McDonald TD, Paul Donnelly TD and I, met with taxi representatives to discuss the challenges facing their industry and listen to solutions they are now putting forward.

“The challenges workers in the sector are facing are huge. The costs associated with getting back on the road are proving prohibitive for many, while the lack of activity in the economy means business has collapsed for those who are back to work in the sector.

“The government need to move away from a one size fits all approach to re-opening our economy. We need sector specific plans that recognise some areas are going to take much longer to get back to normal, and therefore need targeted supports. The taxi industry needs to be recognised and treated as a key part of our public transport system.

“Taxi representatives have put forward concrete proposals they want to see introduced to help their sector.

“Extending the length of time a taxi can be in use from 10 to 12 years, restart grants to assist with insurance and vehicle adaptations costs, and an income support scheme that will allow taxi drivers get back on the road, but also provide financial assistance if fares simply aren’t there to allow them makes ends meet.

“In addition, the NTA need to look at buying back taxi plates from those drivers who now want to leave the job and review whether the issuing of new taxi licences should be temporarily stopped until demand returns to the sector.

“These are only some of the proactive proposals the industry is bringing forward themselves. It’s shameful the Minster hasn’t sat down with the industry yet to listen to their suggestions.

“We don’t want Minister Ross to kick this issue to touch, by setting up another committee or review. He needs to take a hands-on approach, meet with industry representatives urgently and bring forward solutions that will assist taxi drivers at this very challenging time.”

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