ComfortDelGro extends rental relief for cabbies till September
ComfortDelGro is extending its daily rental relief till September to help its taxi drivers affected by the prolonged Covid-19 outbreak - a move that it says will push it into the red.
ComfortDelGro said yesterday its cabbies will now receive up to $46.50 per taxi per day in rental relief - comprising $36.50 from the company and $10 from the Government's Special Relief Fund (SRF).
The portion from the company is supposed to be pared down gradually next month and in May under its original timeline.
But worsening economic conditions on the back of the virus crisis have made it "imperative that more help be extended to cabbies".
As such, ComfortDelGro will match the SRF amount of $10 till September and, depending on the prevailing conditions, also extend the additional $26.50 a day relief till then.
That is, each hirer can expect to receive $46.50 each day in rental relief from now until Sept 30, "if the situation does not improve".
The move is expected to cost the transport giant "as much as $80 million".
If disbursed fully, it will effectively push its taxi division, under ComfortDelGro Taxi, into the red for the year ending Dec 31, 2020.
If so, it would be the "first time Singapore's largest taxi operator will post full-year losses", it said.
For FY2019, ComfortDelGro's taxi operating profit shrank to $104.2 million from $129.4 million in 2018.
ComfortDelGro will also pass on savings from a licence fee waiver and the $2,200 being given by the Government for each unhired taxi to cabbies through a waiver of the call levy till September.
All these are over and above the $1,000 per month that the Government is giving to self- employed people over the next nine months.