The Minister for Infrastructure confirmed today at a meeting with representatives of the taxi industry that an additional payment will be made in light of the further covid restrictions.
A number of concerned taxi drivers represented by Phoenix law made representations to the Minister for Infrastructure that the further restructions continue to detrimentally impact the taxi industry.
The Minister confirmed that an additional payment of £1500 will now be made to cover the period of September 2020 to March 2021. It is anticipated that the application process will open in the first week in February 2021.
Darragh Mackin of Phoenix Law represents the group ‘NI Taxi Drivers’ and made representations to the Minister today seeking urgent action.
Pat Meighan, a Belfast Public Taxi Driver said: “The Minister has acknowledged the plight of the taxi industry in confirming that she now proposes on bringing forward a second scheme. The Minister’s decision will come as some comfort to those drivers who continue to be heavily penalised by the ongoing scheme. The Minsiter has rightly acknowledged that the taxi industry has been unfairly excluded from other schemes, and as such, this further payment will come as welcome news to the entire taxi industry and their families.”
Darragh Mackin, Solicitor for the group ‘NI Taxi Drivers’, said: “Today’s development comes as a massive relief to the entire taxi industry who have collecticvely come under financial hardshiop due to the ongoing covid pandemic. The stress of the ongoing situation has been exacerbated by the decision to exclude taxi drivers from those schemes which would ordinarily provide financial protection. It is against this backdrop that my clients warmly welcome the Minister’s decisive action today, in what will be a financial safety net for those most in need.
Action such as this is what is required to ensure the survival of the very much needed taxi industry.”
Jonathan McKeown, a taxi driver who attended at the meeting said: “It was concerning that at today’s meeting the Minister appeared not to have been provided with all of the representations our solicitors had sent outlining the previous failings in the scheme. However, it is to be warmly welcomed that the Minister has now confirmed she will urgently review the position with the previous scheme and the failings which resulted in many being excluded due to insurance lapses.”