Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, today challenged the Tánaiste in the Dáil to live up to the commitments the Government have made to taxi drivers.
His comments come as many drivers are concerned that they may be transferred to a jobseeker’s payment, despite previous assurances that they would continue on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
The Meath East TD said;
“Taxi drivers now have real concerns relating to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
“While they were promised there would be no cliff edge on these vital income supports, it now appears that those on the €203 rate of PUP will, from the first week of September, be forced onto a jobseeker’s payment.
“Many drivers are on the €203 rate because they invested in their cars shortly before the pandemic hit and as a result had a lower tax bill in the preceding year.
“Taxi drivers are not jobseekers. They are self-employed workers, forced out of work due to the pandemic, and whose work has dried up due to the pandemic. They are still waiting for the full reopening of the economy which will drive their business.
“It’s an incredibly unfair situation for these workers, many of whom have had no business over the past year and a half through no fault of their own.
“Their overhead costs have remained and the financial assistance from the Minister for Transport has been paltry.
“The Government must live up to the PUP commitment they gave to taxi drivers and protect their payments until February 2022 at least.”