The SNP has outlined its ‘First Steps’ plan which highlights what action they hope to implement over the 100 days after successfully being re-elected, a grant for taxi firms has featured in these plans.

Should the SNP get re-elected taxi companies throughout Scotland have been promised grants of up to £10,000.

Further to this they could receive a second payment to aid them through the pandemic of £1,500. This grant is designed to help those who previously received a Covid grant.

Clarity on some of the details of the grant where explained on social media by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Kate Forbes. The plan is to help both fleet operators and taxi operators across Scotland. Kate Forbes also pointed out that further details could only be clarified after having been re-elected.

It was unclear whether this would cover individual taxi operators who have their own company or whether this £10,000 grant was specifically for ‘operator firms’ that owned a fleet of vehicles. Representatives from Unite Edinburgh Cab Branch were seen to challenge Kate Forbes on social media regarding this very issue seeking further clarification.

The Scottish Government has been called upon by Unite Scotland to provide the £10,000 grant to each taxi operator, plus an additional follow up grant to help with the recovery from the catastrophic financial impact seen by COVID-19.

Other small businesses have themselves received grants of £10,000 and this payment would bring operators in line with all other small businesses. A Coronavirus (COVID-19): Private Hire Taxi Driver Support Fund has been established of £57million which is where the second, smaller grant of £1,500 would come from.

Unite Scotland conducted an online survey of around 200 drivers in December 2020, it showed that drivers would traditionally work around 16-17 hours a day with it being declared a good shift if they were to clear £50.

Only 70% of drivers were able to access any form of financial help with around 37% of these stating that the help received made up less than 25% of their usual earnings. This still left 30% of drivers receiving no financial support.