Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund: Universal Credit

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 22nd February 2021.

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Photo of Neil Gray Neil Gray Scottish National Party, Airdrie and Shotts

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that recipients of the Scottish Government’s Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund do not have their universal credit payments reduced.

Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady SNP Chief Whip

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of amending the rules for universal credit to ensure that payments received from the Scottish Government’s Taxi and Private Hire Driver Support Fund are fully disregarded so as not to result in deductions to benefit entitlement.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The eligibility criteria for the Scottish Government’s new £1,500 grant for private hire and taxi drivers is a matter for the Scottish Government not the UK government. While DWP was not consulted in advance about the eligibility criteria, it is our understanding that the grant is intended to assist with fixed costs and expenses, including license plate fees, rental fees and insurance payments for taxis not on the road. Legislation already provides that Covid-19 related grants which are intended to cover loss of business income and to aid business recovery will be disregarded for Universal Credit purposes for 12 months.

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