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UK cab trade debate and advice
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:22 am 
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Just when I was saying that the Scottish system was better than the English hotchpotch - all badgeholders here got a more or less automatic £1,500 - Dundee City Council has put a bit of a fly in the ointment by announcing a £1,000 top up :-o

Not that I'm objecting to more money, obviously, but whether other councils will follow suit isn't clear. Maybe they'll all do similar, or none of the others will offer a bean. Suspect it could end up somewhere inbetween, so to a degree like the English system.

But for the Dundee trade, at least it looks more or less automatic if they've already got the £1,500 grant, and looks as if they barely need to even put in a fresh claim :shock:

And presumably if it's again just anyone with a Dundee badge then it won't matter where they live.

Pity the Scottish Government hadn't just announced a £1k top up for the whole Scottish trade, though :sad:


£900,000 cash boost for Dundee taxi drivers hailed as national example

https://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/fp/9 ... l-example/

Image
Image: Evening Telegraph/DCT Media

Dundee taxi drivers will receive £900,000 in financial support from the city council, after bosses approved a grant scheme from Scottish Government funds.

The cash boost has been hailed as a national example by unions, amid calls for the grants to be rolled out across Scotland.

The money will provide a discretionary top-up of £1,000 in addition to £1,500 which has already been paid out.

Mark Flynn, convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee, said: “This £900,000 extra will help address the ongoing challenges that the sector is facing as a result of the pandemic, in particular restrictions on travel and reductions in footfall.

“There is no need for drivers to contact the council or reapply, we will be in touch with eligible drivers to arrange the top-up payments to be made into their nominated bank accounts.”

Dundee has received a total of £2.4m from Scottish Government in discretionary funds.

The main discretionary fund remains open for other businesses which have not received other support since October and can evidence a loss of income linked to Covid-19 restrictions.

Trade union Unite Scotland welcomed the support for taxi and private hire drivers, and is now calling for all local authorities in Scotland follow the lead of Dundee.

The union has called for the suspension of licensing fees by all local authorities to assist drivers.

‘Desperately needed’

Willie Thomson, Unite industrial officer, said: “We welcome this support from Dundee City Council.

“It’s desperately needed for many drivers whose income has been and continues to be decimated by Covid-19 and the current restrictions.

“Other councils including those of our largest cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh, must follow Dundee’s lead and do more to help workers and families in the taxi trade.”

Discretionary Fund applications can still be made at the Dundee City Council website.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2021 8:06 pm 
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The more money that goes into drivers pockets the better.

The trade has been decimated over the last 13 months, and every penny the trade gets the better.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2021 12:07 am 
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Well it's getting better...or worse, depending on where you are.

Angus Council has trumped Dundee by offering a £2,500 top-up, so that's £4,000 in total. No doubt other councils will follow suit, and no doubt others will be offering nothing.

Angus Council wrote:
“Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund update – anyone in receipt of payment from this fund will now get a £2,500 top up bringing their total payment to £4,000."

Haven't really been following all the other grant stuff up here, so not sure where all this cash is suddenly appearing from.

But the taxi unions are now talking about a postcode lottery for grant funding, and they're right :roll:


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2021 12:14 am 
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Unite Glasgow have posted this on their Facebook page:

Unite Glasgow Cab Section wrote:
Well if we thought the inequitable treatment of the taxi industry in Scotland couldn’t get any worse, it just has.

Appallingly it looks like a postcode lottery is underway, with two local authorities, Dundee and Angus, announcing top-up grants of £1000 and £2500 respectively.

Worryingly, responses from a few councils so far have been less that positive. For example Renfrewshire Council said:

“There has not been additional funds given to the council specifically for taxi driver support. If you didn't access the taxi grant, you may be eligible for our Discretionary Fund. Find out more here: orlo.uk/FysQw.”

The Renfrewshire council stance seems to contradict both Dundee and Angus council’s position. Both said top-up grants announced are a consequence of additional funding coming from the Scottish Government.

Unfortunately, despite exhaustive efforts to find out if Glasgow city Council has plans to implement a similar top-up fund, we are being met with silence.

We have asked GCC leader, Susan Aitken, to comment but have had nothing back. It is unacceptable that elected representatives are ignoring requests for information.

I would ask that members respectfully ask the council leader for answers.

Susan.aitken@glasgow.gov.uk


This seems to be the email Angus drivers received from the council:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:10 pm 
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The money from the UK Government has to be paid out by a certain date. It can't be used for anything other than grants to businesses. So maybe those councils have it left and don't want to give it back. Which is fair enough if it comes to the taxi/PH trade.

I'm guessing that some councils, maybe Glasgow, don't have anything left in the pot so they can't give anymore to the taxi/PH trade. And bearing in mind how many hackneys and PH Glasgow have it would cost them millions and millions.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:55 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
I'm guessing that some councils, maybe Glasgow, don't have anything left in the pot so they can't give anymore to the taxi/PH trade. And bearing in mind how many hackneys and PH Glasgow have it would cost them millions and millions.

Indeed, but government funding should roughly correlate with population, and population should roughly correlate with badge numbers, therefore it shouldn't matter how many badges there are in total.

It is certainly the case that city/urban areas tend to have more badges per population than more rural areas, so that would at least help explain the pot available in Angus, which is quite rural. If all councils got roughly the same funding based on population, a similar percentage allocation to the trade would result to a bigger grant per badge.

But that doesn't explain Dundee's extra £1k grant, as the Dundee council area is almost wholly urban, therefore quite a high proportion of badges per population.

The scheme was hardly based on need as it was - for example, the weekend, beer/holiday money brigade who don't even run a car were entitled to the same as maybe an Edinburgh owner-driver with an LEVC. But at least everyone got the same amount, and it was reasonably transparent and straightforward.

Now even an owner-driver with an older cheap saloon in Angus will cop £4k in total, while someone in Edinburgh with an LEVC will be stuck on the £1.5k as things stand. Saw one on social media who said his cab is just out of its three-year warranty, yet he's still owing £36k on it :x


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:30 am 
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Apparently Perth and Kinross Council have also paid out a £1.5k top-up.

Saw this on Twitter, which was only posted around midnight:

Quote:
Agreement has been made by @COSLA, @scotgov and all 32 local authorities.

Each council must top up at least £1000 up to a maximum of £2500 from discretionary funds to all drivers who received the original £1500 taxi and private hire driver grant.

Not sure precisely what the source is for that, but it sounds like it's from someone who knows what they're talking about, so here's hoping [-o<

(Cosla is the Scottish equivalent of the LGA.)


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:04 pm 
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This appeared on the Press and Journal's site this morning:


Call for £1,000 grant to get Aberdeen taxi drivers through lockdown

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/ne ... -lockdown/

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Image: Chris Sumner/DCT Media/Press and Journal

Council chiefs are being pushed to provide further financial support for ailing taxi drivers in Aberdeen, with the trade badly hit by the pandemic.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:04 pm 
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And, hey presto, this was sent out a few hours later. If only it was always that easy, eh?

Image

No official word yet that it's being centrally co-ordinated, though, so no guarantee that we'll all cop another grand or so :-|


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:08 pm 
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According to Unite Glasgow there was a £57m fund for the original £1.5k per badge support, but a £20m underspend.

That would roughly equate to the ballpark 72% claim rate I worked out for Dundee and Aberdeen.

And the underspend would also roughly equate to a £1k top-up for each claimant [-o<


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2021 8:23 pm 
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The thing is why shouldn't drivers be getting this sort of money.

If Westminster has given it to Scotland to give to councils to give to drivers, then it should go to drivers.

Maybe the UK government should have just bypassed all these levels of bureaucracy and just given it straight to drivers.

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