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Dublin Taxi Drivers Struggling to Survive; Long working Hours for less than €60

Taxi drivers protest again outside Dale today, saying the industry was collapsing and not supporting.

The protest was a continuation from the last month, where the drivers drove from Phoenix Park in Dublin to Leinster.

Todays protest was done with a lot of limitations because of the Covid-19 restrictions.

Joe Herron, President of the Irish Taxi Drivers’ Federation said that the taxi drivers are now facing huge crisis as they are experiencing an 80% decrease in their business.

“That’s typical of the way things are all around the city. And probably in most of the suburban ranks there’s even less work around. What we need really is support for drivers whether they work or not, because depression is setting in with an awful lot of drivers,” he said. 

Herron said the industry has faced suicidal deaths of driver deaths in the past and this is a real concern.

“We would hate to see obviously that type of situation come in, obviously. But drivers are getting very depressed, they can’t make the repayments on mortgages and vehicles and things like that.

Situation of Taxi drivers have become desperate because many taxies were focusing on particular areas, like driver David McGuinness, who usually works out of the College Green rank in Dublin city centre.

“What we’re calling on is financial subsistence from the government, similar to the wage subsidy scheme that’s given out to larger employers, to sustain us until probably until next March or April,” he said. 

Paul Murphy, Rise TD said at the protest that taxi drivers comes under that sector of working class who had been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The crunch of the situation facing taxi drivers is that they’re on a PUP that has been cut and they’re faced with a binary choice of going back to work and losing all their PUP, in the context when business is down by 70%, or staying in a PUP that isn’t enough to survive,” he said.

He said that the basic answer or solution to the problem is quite simple, which is to allow a version of the scheme that exists for employers, which is like a wage subsidy scheme, to allow the State pay some of people’s wages and go back to work.

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