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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-01183
Asked by: Monica Lennon, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour
Date lodged: 5 July 2021 R

Question

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S6W-00712 by Kate Forbes on 22 June 2021, for what reason the Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund is underspent in excess of £24 million, and what urgent action it will take to address the issues facing taxi operators and drivers as a result of the pandemic.

Current status: Answered by Kate Forbes on 22 July 2021


Answer

The original Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund budget was based on an estimated 100% uptake by eligible drivers. Local authorities directly approached all private hire and taxi drivers to invite them to claim the £1,500 grant, and a range of sector stakeholders also helped to raise awareness. Unfortunately some drivers chose not to take up that offer.

We moved quickly to meet the manifesto commitment to provide further support for the sector and have since allocated up to an additional £62 million for both taxi and private hire drivers and taxi and private hire operators, bringing the maximum support for the taxi sector during the pandemic to more than £90 million. Taxi drivers have already received an additional payment of £1500, with a total of £30,684,000 having already been paid to 20,456 drivers. Payments of up to £15,000 will be made to eligible operators in June/July 2021. We are again working with local authorities and sector stakeholders to raise awareness and encourage uptake.