Part of Ministerial Statements – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 11:15 am on 5th May 2020.

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Photo of Nichola Mallon Nichola Mallon Social Democratic and Labour Party 11:15 am, 5th May 2020

All of us are aware of the hardship that is being felt by the taxi industry and taxi drivers. We know them because of the role that they play in our communities, and I am sure that many Members' family members and friends work in the industry. I have made representations to the Minister for the Economy and I know that she is trying to bring forward a range of financial support schemes for those have who have been affected. A number of schemes have been implemented, and I know that she is working on others. I am hopeful that the Executive are in a position to be to provide financial support to those taxi drivers who have had their livelihoods decimated as a result of this.

I have said all along that I feel that there is a huge opportunity for the repurposing of taxi drivers in delivering medicines from pharmacies and in delivering groceries, because we know the difficulties that people are having in ordering their food online and having it delivered. I have made representations to the Minister for Communities on that and I know that she has been working hard to explore that. As I said, I have made representations to the Minister for the Economy on financial hardship, so I am doing what I can to play my part on the regulatory aspect. I know that Executive colleagues are trying to do the same, given their responsibilities on that matter, too.