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Call for Minister to help struggling taxi drivers as well as enlisting their help in community response

'Taxi drivers provide an essential service to many members of the community and it is vital that they are not left behind'

Calls have been made for help to support taxi drivers as they struggle to keep their heads above water due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Newry and Armagh Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Boylan said they cannot be left behind during this “period of uncertainty”.

The party has written to Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon asking her to extend expiring taxi driver licences to protect driversd from the virus and having to attend training and medical exams.

Said Mr Boylan: “We have also raised the possibility of taxi drivers assisting the community response such as the delivery of vital goods.

“It’s welcome that the Minister is now exploring that option.”

The MLA added: “Taxi drivers across the north have faced a massive drop in demand due to the coronavirus and are feeling the worst of the financial impacts of the outbreak.

“While we welcome the steps taken to support the self-employed in the job retention scheme, gaps still remain.

“Taxi drivers provide an essential service to many members of the community and it is vital that they are not left behind.

“Sinn Féin will continue to fight for adequate protections for all workers throughout the island.”

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