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 Courier reports that 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.
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: https://bit.ly/3drvXNh.