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Taxi Driver Begs Government For Help After Making Just £18 In A Day

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Taxi Driver Begs Government For Help After Making Just £18 In A Day

A taxi driver has begged the government for help after making just £18 during an entire shift.

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Harry McKean, from Glasgow, has been hit hard by the lockdown restrictions that have been introduced over the past year, and says he's suffering now more than ever.

Speaking in a video shared by the Unite union, Mr McKean said he was at the end of his tether and feared he may have to try and find a new job if things don't improve.

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"Nearly three hours now I've been out, not one hire. Yesterday I did an eight-and-a-half shift and recorded £18.60 earnings," he said from his cab.

"I'm now going to go home and discuss with the wife what way we go forward. Do we hand the taxi back? Do I try and get another job, which would seem highly unlikely.

"We needed help last year and we still need it even more now."

Harry McKean has begged the government for help. Credit: Unite/Harry McKlean
Harry McKean has begged the government for help. Credit: Unite/Harry McKlean
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Mr McKean hit out at the Scottish government for not doing enough to help taxi drivers like him, saying the only support he and others have received is from the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Pleading with the country's leaders, he said he just didn't know what he was going to do if the help doesn't come.

He said: "This Scottish administration have not put their hand in their pocket once to help us out. The only help we've received is from the Westminster Chancellor, Mr (Rishi) Sunak. Whilst it's been a great help, it's not been enough. We need more.

"I know there are other people out there people needing the same, but we're not a fixed premise, we can't apply for those grants. We still have fixed costs - I have fixed costs of about £1,000 a month, between taxi payments, insurance and running costs.

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"Do I decide to give that up, go into another job or go into arrears with other payments? We don't know how we're going to go.

"So I'm asking, I'm now begging for somebody, somewhere within Holyrood, local council, anywhere, to start looking at this seriously and get us some kind of serious grant.

"Because we can't afford any more loans, we don't have the earning capacity to pay for them and even further down the line we're just going to run up debt that we can't afford or people just can't afford to give us the credit these days.

Taxi drivers have struggled to make ends meet because of the lockdown restrictions. Credit: PA
Taxi drivers have struggled to make ends meet because of the lockdown restrictions. Credit: PA
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"I'm begging you councillors, you MSPs out there, take a serious look at this industry and get some help out there because we have fixed costs, like business owners with fixed premises do as well."

A spokesperson for Unite told Glasgow Live that it had demanded Glasgow City Council provide support for Mr McKean and others.

They said: "Taxi businesses are locked out of funding through the Strategic Framework Business Fund. Sole criterion of having a business premises is arbitrary and deeply unfair as Harry alludes to.

"We have also asked GCC to extend all licences by three months and suspend testing. Along with the obvious health and safety risks, we have members contacting us to say they simply cannot afford testing or licence fees."

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A council spokesperson said it would constantly be reviewing the support it would offer taxi drivers.

"We have implemented a wide range of measures in support of the taxi trade at this extremely difficult time," they said.

"But we are keeping this situation under regular review and will continue to look for further changes that can ease the pressure currently being felt by licence holders.

"As a regulatory authority, we must remain focused on public safety at all times.

Featured Image Credit: Unite/Harry McKean

Topics: covid, lockdown, Taxi, Coronavirus, rishi sunak, Covid-19

Dominic Smithers
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