COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund extended for 3 months
Earlier today, it was announced that we will move to Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) from 14 June 2021 as part of a calibrated reopening, with further reopening from 21 June 2021 if the COVID-19 situation remains under control in the coming weeks. Even after we exit Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), it remains essential to keep transmission risks in check, so work-from-home will continue to be the default arrangement and there will be capacity limits at malls and restaurants. We expect taxi and Private Hire Car (PHC) ridership to improve over the coming months due to the gradual reopening. Taking this into account, and in consultation with tripartite partners, the Government will extend the COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund (CDRF) from July 2021 for 3 months to support taxi and PHC drivers. Under the extended CDRF, drivers will receive Government support of $10 a day for 60 days (i.e. $300 per vehicle per month, for 2 months) and $5 a day for the next 30 days (i.e. $150 per vehicle per month, for 1 month).
2 The extension will cost the Government an additional $40 million and benefit over 50,000 drivers. On top of the Government’s assistance, taxi operators have also pledged to continue providing matching rental waivers of at least $12 million in total for the duration of the extended CDRF.
3 This extension comes on top of the $188 million that the Government committed under the first tranche of the CDRF to provide targeted assistance to active taxi and PHC drivers between January and June 2021. An additional $27 million was set aside to provide taxi and PHC drivers with a one-off top-up from 16 May to end June 2021 in view of the ridership impact from tighter safe management measures during Phase 2 (Heightened Alert). In total, the Government has committed $255 million towards the CDRF scheme.
4 There is no need for drivers to make an application to receive the extended payouts. Drivers who are currently receiving CDRF payouts will continue to receive the extended payouts. Taxi main hirers will continue to receive payouts in the form of rental rebates, while PHC drivers will receive the payouts through their e-wallets. PHC drivers who joined the sector on or before 31 May 2021, will be notified of their eligibility for the extended payouts by their respective operators.
5 Drivers who do not qualify for CDRF, including taxi relief drivers, may apply for the Ministry of Social and Family Development’s (MSF) COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG) if they meet its eligibility criteria. Drivers will not be eligible for the CRG if they are receiving CDRF payouts.
6 We would like to thank our tripartite partners, including the National Taxi Association, the National Private Hire Vehicles Association and the taxi and PHC operators, for working closely with LTA to continue to support taxi and PHC drivers during this challenging period.