Cab driver 'terrified' as he faces year's mortgage with no income or support

2 March 2021, 13:36

By Sam Sholli

A cab driver has told James O'Brien he is "terrified" as he owes a year's worth of rent and mortgage payments and despite earning nothing, and "getting no help from Rishi."

Joe in Paddington told James about his financial woes as Chancellor Rishi Sunak prepares to deliver his key Spring Budget speech to Parliament on Wednesday.

Joe told James: "I got Covid in January. I got no help from Rishi [Sunak]...I spent the last year with Long Covid and terrified about how I'm going to pay my bills. I haven't paid a bill for a year."

He added: "My son is on an apprenticeship. So if we're lucky we had about £60 or £70 a week and that's shopping."

Joe also explained that he when it comes to where he lives he owes "a year's rent and year's mortgage because it's shared ownership".

Speaking of his experience working as a cab driver during the Covid crisis, he said: "I've worked every day. I'm back driving a cab in London and we're not earning a penny."

He added: "I took £25 on Friday and worked eight hours. You've seen the queue of cabs outside Charing Cross."

Joe is one of the three million excluded from financial support throughout the pandemic, along with freelance workers, some business owners, and workers who started their jobs outside of a specific deadline decided by the Treasury.

LBC has raised the issue of the excluded repeatedly over the pandemic and in January confronted the former Business Secretary Nadhim Zahawi over the issue.

Prior to this,Nick Ferrari in November put to the Chancellor a statement from ExcludedUK founder Anneka Hicks that some "abandoned" by the Government have taken their own lives.

After hearing her tearful explanation on how those without financial aid are affected, the Chancellor responded: "I respectfully disagree with the fact that 3m people can't access help."The chancellor said the "majority self employed" in that group will have benefited from furlough.

Mr Sunak said: "What we've spent is more than anyone else has internationally. The scale of what we have put in place is extraordinarily comprehensive and generous by any international measure."