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Taxi and minicab industry on verge of collapse

07 Dec 2020
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There is no light at the end of the tunnel for drivers who desperately need help save their livelihoods and their sector

The UK’s taxi and minicab industry will collapse without urgent financial assistance, GMB has told the Chancellor.

In a letter to Rishi Sunak, the union outlines the importance of the country’s largest transport sector – which sees 350,000 drivers perform services from private journeys to NHS patient transport, school and vulnerable children transport services and vulnerable adult transport services.

Through the pandemic, demand has plummeted with many operators reporting an 80% drop in bookings month upon month.

Huge numbers of professionally licensed drivers have left the industry, while the serious financial hardship suffered by others has led to a sharp rise in mental health issues.

Yet the mainly self-employed drivers have fallen between the cracks when it comes to financial assistance.

GMB is calling on the Chancellor to meet to discuss how the sector can be saved.

Mick Rix, GMB National Officer, said:

“GMB calls on the Chancellor to provide urgent support and financial assistance to drivers in the ravaged taxi and minicab industry.

"Those professionals left in the sector - mainly self-employed- have a suffered massive cut in incomes, around 70 - 80% compared to last year.

“This is the largest transport sector in the country and provides vital transport for the NHS, schools, as well as vulnerable and disabled people.

“Lockdowns and the tier restrictions will be in place for some time, the economy is not going to reset itself back to pre-covid levels overnight.

“There is no light at the end of the tunnel for drivers and operators who desperately need urgent Government assistance to save their livelihoods and this great industry.”

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