Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, has called on Minister Eamon Ryan to extend the ‘10-year rule’ for taxis, in recognition of the severe pressure the sector is under.
The Meath East TD said:
“This week in the Dáil I asked the Minister for Transport to do more to support the taxi industry, which is under enormous pressure.
“Covid-19 and the resulting restrictions had a devastating impact on the industry over the past two years, and now the massive increase in fuel prices is posing another major challenge.
“Since 2019, we’ve lost 2,562 taxis from the system, as drivers exit the sector because they can no longer make ends meet.
“The ‘10-year rule’ is adding further to this pressure, as drivers are forced to replace their car, even if it is in perfect condition.
“Most of these cars got significantly less use over the past two-years as a result of the pandemic, and we believe the government should show flexibility in this area to help drivers.
“Currently, many of those being forced to replace their cars are struggling to access finance. Prices for used cars are up 56% over the last two years also, and elsewhere, there are huge delays in the delivery of new electric vehicle models.
“Extending the ‘10-year rule’ now when the sector is under pressure makes sense and could help stop the haemorrhaging of taxis from the system. It could also deliver a quicker and smoother transition to an electric fleet.
“Taxis play a crucial part in our transport network, and we are already hearing how a shortage of taxis is causing issues across Ireland.
“This will get worse if the Minister does not act now.”