Mr Séamus Brennan, T.D., Minister for Transport, today (19th December 2002) published the report of the Taxi Hardship Panel.
The Minister announced that the recommendations of the Panel will be implemented on a phased basis by the National Taxi Regulator. The Office of the National Taxi Regulator will be established on a non-statutory basis by February 2003.
The implementation of the recommendations of the Panel is a commitment in the Agreed Programme for the Government.
The Government made clear at the time of liberalisation of the taxi market in November 2000 that while it would not provide for compensation for any perceived loss of value of taxi licences, it recognised that the decision could give rise to the creation of personal financial hardship among taxi licence holders. For that reason the independent Taxi Hardship Panel was established by the Government in February 2002 to examine and report in general terms on the nature and extent of extreme personal financial hardship experienced by individual taxi licence holders arising from loss of income as a direct result of the liberalisation of the taxi licensing regime.
The Panel has now reported that as a direct result of the liberalisation of access to taxi licences, there is evidence that certain licence holders have suffered extreme personal financial hardship.
Minister Brennan said the Government has decided that the design and administration of a scheme to implement on a phased basis the recommendations of the Panel will be carried out by the National Taxi Regulator. This will ensure that applications are dealt with on a confidential and objective basis.
The Regulator will be asked to determine the criteria and conditions for the making of payments having regard to the categorisation and specific recommendations identified in the report of the Panel.
19th December 2002
NOTE: The full text of the report is available on our website, copy attached below.
Further Information: Tom Rowley (01) 6041089 087 8124723