Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West Seán Crowe has described the Dublin Airport Authority’s demand that taxi drivers renew their €440 airport permits, despite the fact that the vast majority are on reduced or zero hours because of the COVID Pandemic as “unreasonable and unacceptable”.

Teachta Crowe has said the Authority need a reality check and has called on them to suspend or give some leeway to existing permit holders until the end of crisis or until market recovers

Teachta Crowe said:

“Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the taxi industry, leaving many drivers without work or on severely reduced hours. State support has been minimal, but many overheads have remained at pre-COVID levels.

“Dublin Airport Authority’s latest demand to taxi drivers for €440 for the renewal of their permit in the middle of a health pandemic is cloud cuckoo stuff.

“Whoever made this decision to send out this latest ultimatum needs a reality check as it doesn’t take into account today’s world.

“Their insistence that airport taxi drivers renew their airport permits by the end of August – at a cost of €440 per vehicle – and without the usual option of payment by instalment is completely unrealistic and unacceptable.

“Passenger numbers at the airport are down by over 95%, meaning work for many taxi drivers has dried up. Drivers report an average four hour wait for a fare. One need only walk around Dublin Airport for a few short minutes to see the new reality facing everyone including hard pressed taxi drivers.

“The taxi industry is in urgent need of dedicated support at this time. Government, the NTA and the DAA all have an important role to play, but financial demands and ultimatums is not the way forward.

“The DAA needs to urgently engage with industry representatives in response to the new pandemic-induced circumstances and suspend or give some leeway to existing permit holders until the end of this crisis or until the market recovers.”