The Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan T.D, has announced a €6.5m support package for Taxi, Hackney and Limousine operators, also known as the Small Public Service Vehicle (SPSV) Industry.
The new sectoral package, developed following consultation with the Advisory Committee on SPSVs, will directly assist SPSV drivers in their recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing the following supports:
- €3 million for the continued waiver of vehicle licence fees in 2022
- €2 million for a once-off Motor Tax Refund scheme specifically for taxi and hackney operators
- €1.5 million for a NCT fee refund scheme
Commenting on the announcement Minister Ryan said: “There is no doubt that COVID-19 has had a detrimental effect on our Taxi industry. While our society now begins to recover from the impacts of this pandemic, I am keen to remove as many cost barriers as possible for our SPSV drivers to return to work. The €6.5 million financial package I have announced today will give operators the consistent support they require over the rest of this year and into the year 2022.”
In addition to the supports for the SPSV industry the Government has maintained a wide-ranging programme of supports with broad eligibility criteria for individuals and businesses which have been adversely affected by COVID-19. Many of these supports can be accessed by taxi drivers and include:
- Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) This payment will continue to allow self-employed people, including SPSV drivers, to earn up to €960 over an eight-week period, net of expenses, while retaining their full PUP entitlement. This scheme has been extended to February 2022.
- Enterprise Support Grant: This scheme will continue to provide business owners and self-employed drivers with a grant of up to €1,000 to restart their business which was closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Claimants of the grant in 2020 who subsequently found themselves back on PUP in 2021, will now also be able to access the €1,000 grant for a second time if they close their PUP payment on or after 1 June 2021.