Up to $4M is available to help taxi licence owners recover from financial distress.
The Taxi Reform Hardship Fund was established by the Victorian Government to assist perpetual taxi licence owners who may be experiencing severe financial distress as a result of reforms following the 2012 Taxi Industry Inquiry.
The fund will be overseen by Chair Janet Dore and a team of externally appointed auditors to ensure all applications are considered fairly and independently.
The Taxi Reform Hardship Fund aims to build a stronger, safer and more sustainable taxi industry in Victoria, improve quality for consumers and support licence holders suffering hardship.
Persons who had an ownership interest in a taxi licence between 28 March 2011 and 1 July 2013 and as a direct result of the Taxi Industry Inquiry and subsequent reforms are currently experiencing both:
- A deficiency in income that would not allow provision for either themselves or their immediate family the necessities of food, shelter, clothing, medical expenses, education for children and other basic requirements; and
- An inability to liquidate assets in order to either meet the costs of those necessities outlined above or to pay outstanding debts as and when they fall due.
To establish if an applicant meets this criteria, applications will be means tested and assessed against a set of guidelines supporting the criteria outlined above. Eligibility will be reviewed on a case by case basis and will be determined based on the income and asset levels of each applicant’s family.
Please note that information and documentation provided in the application is subject to audit and additional information may be requested after the form has been submitted.
The Chairperson will consider each application on its merits and will recommend access to the Taxi Reform Hardship Fund only where the applicant is proven to demonstrate severe financial distress. The Department has full discretion in the determination of eligibility in the consideration of each application.
Applications close 12 February 2016.
The Andrews Labor Government has delivered on another key election commitment, with the opening of the Taxi Reform Hardship Fund.
Minister for Public Transport, Jacinta Allan, used the third meeting of the Ministerial Taxi and Hire Car Forum today to announce that applications are now open for the $4 million fund to assist taxi licence owners experiencing severe financial distress as a result of reforms following the 2012 Taxi Industry Inquiry.
Former Transport Accident Commission CEO, Janet Dore, has been appointed Chair to administer the fund and will assess applications, supported by a team of externally appointed auditors.
Eligibility criteria for the fund and the application form were developed by externally appointed financial auditors and Ms Dore, following stakeholder consultation.
Perpetual taxi licence owners who meet the eligibility criteria, and can demonstrate severe financial distress as a result of the reforms, may be eligible for payments from the fund.
Applications for the fund are now open, and will close on Friday, 12 February 2016. The Chair and auditing team will determine payment amounts for eligible applicants once applications for the fund close.
An information session about the fund and the application process will be held on Monday, 7 December in the CBD. To register for the session, email [email protected].
The application form and further information about the Taxi Reform Hardship Fund is available ateconomicdevelopment.vic.gov.au/taxi-reform-hardship-fund.