The MP for Eltham has written to the Transport Minister urging him to take measures to save taxi drivers from "financial ruin," and even temporarily re-employ them to assist the NHS.

Clive Efford MP said he has been contacted by taxi drivers in his constituency in south east London who are "in distress" as their business has completely "dried up" during to the lockdown.

For the majority, work has been so severely reduced that income is failing to even cover operating costs, and many are "anticipating the collapse of their business."

The Government has acknowledged and pledged to help with some of the problems faced by the self-employed during the lockdown, but these workers face up to three months with any pay and are struggling to feed families.

The MP is now calling on the Minister for Transport Grant Shapps to ensure these workers, including 82,000 UK taxi drivers, are properly supported so they can stay on the road.

In a letter to the Department for Transport, Mr Efford says that whilst he supports the Government's Covid-19 lockdown, the measures have "severely impacted the livelihood of many self-employed people" who are currently in financial hardship and face ruin.

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In the letter, Mr Efford recommends that emergency interim payments are made, wages are supported straight away and running costs such as licence plate fees and rental fees are suspended.

"Even more importantly, the Government must look to the taxi industry as part of the solution to this crisis, not part of the problem."

Mr Effort states that taxi drivers should be sub-contracted out to perform a number of tasks, including transporting patients to and from emergency appointments, delivering shopping to the elderly and transport NHS and care staff to work and testing centres.