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Written Reply by Minister for Transport S Iswaran to Parliamentary Question on Appeals Received for COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund

06 Jul 2021 In Parliament

Mr Gan Thiam Poh asked the Minister for Transport 
a.     to date, how many appeals have been received for the COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund (CDRF); 
b.     what are the numbers of successful and unsuccessful appeals against the total number of private-hire car (PHC) drivers; and 
c.     whether the CDRF criterion of an average of 200 trips per month from 1 October to 31 December 2020 can be reviewed downwards due to the fall in ridership and to include delivery trips undertaken by these drivers.
Reply by Minister for Transport S Iswaran:
1.     The COVID-19 Driver Relief Fund (CDRF) is a targeted relief scheme to support active taxi and private hire car (PHC) drivers through this period of low ridership due to COVID-19 so that drivers can continue to provide taxi and PHC services for commuters.
2.     A minimum trip criterion is stipulated to ensure that the CDRF is provided to existing drivers who are dependent on driving as their main source of income. Drivers need to have completed an average of 200 trips per month during the qualifying periods in order to qualify for the CDRF.
3.     Between January and May 2021, LTA received appeals from 850 drivers who did not qualify for the CDRF and acceded to about 190 of them. Of the about 660 appeals that were rejected, around half could not provide valid reasons for failing to meet the minimum trip criterion, and another about 300 were new drivers who recently joined the sector after December 2020 and were not active drivers during the qualifying months for previous tranches. Some of these drivers, however, may qualify for the payouts under the extended CDRF starting in July.
4.     LTA takes into consideration several factors when assessing appeals, including the impact of the prevailing COVID-19 situation on taxi and PHC ridership during the qualifying months. As part of the appeal process, factors such as the number of delivery trips performed by drivers, as well as medical and compassionate grounds are considered.