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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2021 1:52 am 
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Covid Scotland: Alex Salmond demands immediate help for private hire and taxi drivers

https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/ ... rs-3507547

Alex Salmond has demanded immediate action to support hard-pressed private hire and taxi drivers hit by Christmas and Hogmanay cancellations.

The former first minister said the Scottish Government he led "would not have turned its back" on this "badly neglected" group of workers.

He said: "But the mistakes of the past must not be repeated. Time is of the essence. They need support in the coming days, not weeks and not months."

Mr Salmond, who leads the pro-independence Alba Party, said taxi drivers were essential workers "every bit as much as bus drivers and railway staff".

He said: "However, unlike other small businesses they have received very little compensation for loss of earnings and such support as they have received from councils has been patchy and in some cases derisory, with many private hire and taxi drivers forced out of business altogether.

“Private hire and taxi drivers have been the poor relations during the pandemic receiving little or no support.

"It is assumed that because they do not have premises, that private hire and taxi drivers do not have the same costs, but they have significant overheads without the business rates and other reliefs available to other small businesses.

"With new restrictions coming into force hitting the hospitality and nightlife economy this has had a devastating effect on the incomes of these essential workers.

“It is now imperative that the Scottish Government steps in to support these essential workers."

Murray Fleming, general secretary of the Scottish Taxi Federation, said the sector was facing an "ongoing battle to survive".

He said it relied heavily on hospitality during the festive season and had seen a "massive downturn" at what would normally be a busy time.

Mr Fleming said: "We will be lobbying the Government, along with other trade bodies, to get some form of financial support."

However, Mr Fleming said he was "not overly optimistic".

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "We are all too aware of the impact that Covid-19 has had – and continues to have – on business and the Scottish economy.

"The emergence of the new Omicron variant and the speed at which it is spreading brings even more economic uncertainty.

“That is why the actions we have taken so far, including the latest £375 million package of financial support recently announced by the First Minister, are firmly focused on supporting businesses, protecting jobs and mitigating the continuing impact of Covid on our wider economy.

“The Scottish Government is acutely aware of the financial implications for many businesses and we are working at pace with business sectors and industry to develop targeted financial support for businesses that will be impacted by the restrictions, including those required to close.”


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2021 1:52 am 
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Glasgow taxi drivers stage 'sit-in' protest in bid for more support during pandemic

https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/198 ... -pandemic/

TAXI drivers in Glasgow will protest in the city centre this week due to being 'left behind' by the government.

Drivers of private hire and taxis will 'sit in' around George Square on December 29 as restrictions come back into force in Scotland.

The demonstration will be operated by the App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU) and will start from around 10am following a short convoy starting in Townhead.

Union leaders are claiming that their trade is suffering, as taxi drivers have been excluded from the support for businesses.

They claim that they are being ignored and left behind by the Scottish and UK Governments.

Eddie Grice, the Glasgow Chair of ADCU, said "We are demanding to be heard. We put our request across and they have been ignored.

Our trade is suffering again. Drivers are suffering again. This protest is about making sure we are listened to and engaged with and about securing support for hard working drivers who are at risk of losing their livelihoods yet again.

"Some business support is coming down for certain sectors, but we have been totally excluded again.

"Our trade relies on hospitality and people moving around. With restrictions coming back we will see many drivers going bust or simply abandoning the trade.

"We are requesting that Rishi Sunak reintroduced the support scheme for the self employed and that the Scottish Government provide industry specific support to private hire and taxi drivers.

"We cannot be left out in the cold and we cannot be left in a sink or swim scenario."


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2021 7:30 pm 
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Think it's fair to say restrictions in Scotland and Wales are more severe than in England, which are effecting their trade's considerably more.

That said it isn't ticker tee boo everywhere down here.

New Year's Eve is going to be very quiet again this year IMO.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2021 11:57 am 
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Quote:
New Year's Eve is going to be very quiet again this year IMO.


I have taken my third new years eve booking today a short half mile trip back to a pensioner complex :sad:

normally by now I am fully booked 00.30 to 01.30 at least but suspect that the only revellers will be the teenagers coming into town

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2021 2:03 pm 
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I'm still having runs being cancelled for the rest of the Xmas/Newyear break.....I now only have one booking on old years night and one on Hogmanay morning and that's it.

It's come to a point where selling my vehicles is worth more money to me than they are likely to generate for me, I'd reckon the Government (Westminster or Holyrood) would lose more through loss of long term taxation if my business folded than they would if they paid out another couple of Seiss grants.

All this is caused by overkill from government for a disease now no more deadly than the flu.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 29, 2021 10:17 pm 
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I would advise anyone currently still in the trade to remain if they can financially.

The future of the trade, once this mess is sorted, is a good one.

Anyone considering coming into the trade, best wait a year or two.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2021 12:22 am 
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A few photos of the protest here and a video, if anyone's interested.

Certainly made an almighty racket, but whether that helps or hinders things I'm not sure. Someone in the comments claiming they had to abandon their walk around George Square with an autistic child because of the racket.

Don't know if it went on long enough to scare anyone off like that, but even watching the video the noise was going straight through me :x


Glasgow cabbies beep horns and bring city to standstill in George Square in 'sit-in' pandemic pay protest

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scot ... g-25808842

The taxi drivers staged a 'sit-in' protest in a demonstration against restrictions and financial support offered for covid-hit industries.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2021 12:23 am 
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But it seems the Scottish Government has been having ongoing talks with trade representatives, which presumably means the same people they spoke to during peak lockdown.

So wouldn't be surprised if Santa Sturgeon puts in an appearance early in the new year with a late gift :roll:

My best guess is a few hundred pounds *per badge*, and certainly less than £1k. According to TaxiPoint drivers in Wales are getting £500, and wouldn't be surprised at a figure like that.

So not much in the grand scheme of things, but better than a slap in the face if we do get something :?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2021 12:26 am 
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As for the long term future for the trade, can't say I'm as enthusiastic as Sussex (although to be fair, I never would be), but maybe slightly more optimistic than Bloodnock, but I think it'll be better for some than others, and will depend on which market you serve etc.

So the exodus of drivers and Brexit, and the forthcoming tax compliance checks, will help honest drivers in it for the long term. But, locally, think the likes of those who depend on airport runs and similar will be down for a couple of years at least, unless maybe it all gets rid of some of the competition.

But certainly would have been very poor here if drivers had remained at pre-lockdown numbers.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2022 5:18 pm 
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So today the first minster announced further help for the trade, but can't find any detail at this stage.

Earlier today, Nicola Sturgeon wrote:
Up to £28 million will be allocated to taxi and private hire drivers and operators.

So if it's per badge rather than plate (as per the bias last time round), then that could be around £1k per badge :-o

But note she said 'drivers' and 'operators', so presumably there will be a split between the badges and plates (as per usual, an 'operator' in Scotland is a plateholder).

But for a single-car owner-driver like me, what I might lose on the badge, I might gain on the plate, so hopefully it'll be around £1k in total, or not far off.

So a bit more than I was anticipating. Hopefully [-o<


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2022 5:22 pm 
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An hour or so ago, Glasgow Unite tweeted:

Glasgow Unite Cab Section wrote:
The breakdown of the fund and the timeline for payment is yet to be decided. Unite cab sections across Scotland have a further meeting tomorrow with @scotgov

So presumably it's all still to be thrashed out in the coming days, but I'm guessing an owner-driver will cop the thick end of a grand =D>


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2022 9:01 pm 
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And down here we will be getting sweet f*** all.

:sad:

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2022 2:13 am 
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Well according to an article on TaxiPoint yesterday it's £750 per badge, and £750 per plate for one-car owners, so owner-drivers like me will cop £1,500 :-o

Main catch is that it won't be paid till February, according to the ADCU's Paul Grice, whose quote comprises most of the article.

But if the figures are correct, then it's a lot more than I was expecting =D>

The ADCU aren't happy, though, and think it should be substantially more. Of course, the more the better, but to be honest I wasn't really expecting anything, and it's more than I was anticipating since it's been announced, so I'm pretty happy with it all :D

Of course, it all depends how long the restrictions last, but St Andrews is pretty dead around Christmas and New Year at the best of times, and January is also pretty awful until the students come back in the latter part of the month, so maybe the current restrictions aren't affecting me as much as those elsewhere in Scotland. But the way Omicron is panning out generally, I'm hoping things get back to more like normal (or at least the 'new' normal) pretty early in the new year [-o<

The TaxiPoint article said the unions and federations etc were briefed yesterday about the details, and the Scottish Government 'released' the details in the afternoon, but I can't find a peep anywhere other than on TaxiPoint, and have looked around on Facebook, Twitter, the Scottish Government's website, etc

So just have to hope the stuff in the TaxiPoint article is accurate.

And another point, which won't affect the likes of me and Bloodnock, is that the grants will only be paid to those who claimed them previously, and not new licence holders.

But to that extent I'm guessing it'll be easy peasy to claim, as was the case with the second grant that was paid to badgeholders last year.

Anyway, here's the full TaxiPoint article, and here's hoping the details are correct. And ADCU seem to be claiming most of the credit for it all, so thanks and well done to them =D>

https://www.taxi-point.co.uk/post/adcu- ... appointing


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2022 3:25 am 
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There was an article on the Glasgow Evening Times website with very similar content to TaxiPoint's, but it seems to have been pulled, so hope that's not a bad sign :?

Not sure if this link will still work, but this was the article in the Google cache:

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/ ... irefox-b-d


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2022 9:37 pm 
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Getting £1,500 is a right bonus, and because your lockdown has been a fair bit more severe than down here, more than justified.

I would be amazed if the trade gets a bean in England, but the loss of trade hasn't been as bad as I assumed, and of course apart from mask rules we aren't really that far away from normal.

Apart from 95% of civil servants sitting at home watching Loose Women. [-(

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