Newry.ie

The Executive have announced that they intend to bring forward a bespoke package to provide financial assistance to the taxi, private bus and coach sectors. The assistance will be administered by the Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon.

Speaking of the sector First Minister Arlene Foster said: “Covid-19 has had an enormously damaging impact on all sectors of business and services. The operators of taxis, private buses and coaches have faced a significant reduction in demand for their services, yet their overheads have continued. It is absolutely right that they should be able to avail of financial assistance to sustain them through this difficult time and I hope they will take some comfort in the knowledge that support will be forthcoming.”

MLA Cathal Boylan has reiterated calls for a support package to be brought forward to support taxi drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Newry/Armagh MLA said “It’s welcome that Minister Nichola Mallon is meeting with taxi operators who have felt some of the worst impacts of the Covid19 pandemic.  

“We are hopeful that this will lead to progress on a financial support package finally being brought forward to support the drivers.

“These drivers have now gone over seven months without financial support despite providing a vital service in our communities.

“Sinn Féin will continue to press for support for our taxi drivers and coach operators to help them get through this pandemic.” 

Edit 30/10/20

Assembly Member for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty MLA has also welcomed the announcement of a support package for the Bus, Coach and Taxi sectors by Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon MLA this week. 

Mr McNulty said, "The package announced by Minister Mallon this week is a very welcome development and comes only six days after the power to deliver the package was passed to her by the First and Deputy First Ministers after months of delay by the Economy Minister Diane Dodds MLA.

"These sectors have been decimated by the Coronavirus Pandemic.  Tourism, entertainment and hospitality sectors are non-existent at the minute and these sectors drive our night-time economy and the needs for the private transport sectors.  These packages will go some way to help those impacted and even the Minister herself acknowledges she would like to have been in the position to go much further.

"This package of £19m, of which £14m has been allocated to taxis and will be open for application in the coming days. I know it is very much needed to help support an industry which is really struggling.  I hope that the Executive will be able to make further supports available to the sector in the time ahead."  

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