To ask the Minister for Transport if he will report on the progress made in implementing the Taxi Hardship Payments scheme.
- Seán Crowe.
For PRIORITY answer on Tuesday, 2nd March, 2004.
Ref No: 7077/04
Answered by the Minister for Transport
Area Development Management Limited has been engaged to administer the Taxi Hardship Payments Scheme which is implementing the recommendations of the Taxi Hardship Panel Report in accordance with the relevant Government decision.
The Scheme was formally launched in November 2003. Application forms were issued to all persons who made submissions to the Taxi Hardship Panel. Newspaper advertisements were placed in the national newspapers on 6 November 2003 inviting applications under the Scheme from those who held taxi licences at 21 November 2000 who can demonstrate that they have suffered extreme personal financial hardship following loss of income arising from the liberalisation of the taxi licensing regime, who fall into one of the six categories identified by the Taxi Hardship Panel Report and who are tax compliant. ADM is proceeding with the processing and assessment of applications as the application forms and associated required documentation are returned to them. Payments under the Scheme commenced in December 2003.
I understand from ADM that they had received a total of 1,025 applications as of 25 February 2004. Hardship payments totalling €2,458,000 have been made to 204 qualifying persons to date and a further 163 applications are expected to come before the ADM Board on 3 March for decision. Of the outstanding applications, 657 are awaiting processing. Additional information or clarification has been requested from applicants in approximately 80% of these cases. The time taken to process applications and to make payments depends on the completeness of the information and supporting documentation in each individual application.
Newspaper advertisements were again placed in the national newspapers on 27 February 2004 inviting applications under the Scheme and advising of a closing date of 30 April 2004 for receipt of applications.