The Scottish Government have announced additional support to Taxi and Private Hire Drivers who are experiencing decreased demand, by way of a one-grant of £1,500 to eligible individuals.
This support is separate and additional to any other funding receivable from the Scottish or UK Government. For example, a driver may be eligible even if they have applied to the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme or the COVID-19 Public Transport Mitigation Fund.
Eligible individuals will be contacted by their local authority directly, no application needs to be made.
You must have been licensed as a driver from 9 October 2020 to at least 31 January 2021. This does not include drivers whose licenses were suspended on or before 31 December 2020 and that remains current and valid.
Up to 31 December 2020, you must also:
• have experienced a loss of income (50% of turnover in comparison to 2019) and incurred overhead costs and expenses.
• you are or have been working or available for work as a tax or private hire driver.
Your local authority may ask to you to provide additional evidence to confirm if you are eligible. They will need your bank account details. You must also declare all previous support from UK, Scottish or local government support schemes.
In addition, you must not:
• have breached COVID-19 regulations.
• have connections with tax havens (as set out in Coronavirus regulations).
Impact on other Benefits
Taxi drivers in receipt of state benefits payments (Universal Credit, Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance, Job Seekers’ Allowance, Income Support) are also eligible. The Scottish Government have sought assurances from the DWP that the grant would not impact on Universal Credit payments however no confirmation has been received as yet.
You must consider any tax implications this funding may have on any current support you are receiving, including benefits.
It will be for drivers, based on their individual financial circumstances, to consider any implications tax wise or indeed for other financial support and benefits that they receive.
Contact from the Scottish Government
You do not need to apply – your local authority will get in touch with you by letter, email or other communication method from the week commencing 18 January.
If you are being contacted by letter, it may take a bit longer for this to reach you.
You will be asked to provide any relevant supporting information and your bank account details.
Local authorities are expected to offer an appeals process.