Almost 800 Toronto cab drivers picked up welfare cheques from the city in the last two years.
A report going to the city’s audit committee next week finds 1,539 people holding business licences from the city — including 759 cabbies, 104 strippers, 170 holistic practitioners and 32 buskers — collected around $20 million in welfare payments while claiming they had zero income between January 2010 and December 2011.
Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong was quick to pounce on the report Tuesday saying it raises “some really interesting questions.”
“What this is showing is about 800 taxi drivers are reporting zero income and are claiming welfare,” Minnan-Wong said.
“Eight hundred seems to be a big number … You’ve also got over 100 burlesque entertainers — I think those are strippers — who are reporting zero income. That’s another interesting question.”
While Minnan-Wong acknowledged some of those taxi drivers may really have zero income, he doubted they all did.
“Eight hundred taxi drivers? I find that hard to believe,” he said.
“If they are making money from driving a cab and claiming welfare, that’s just disgusting.”