April 9, 2020
‘Cross-border workers need protected’ – Ó Donnghaile

Sinn Féin Seanadóir Niall Ó Donnghaile has said it’s ‘unacceptable’ the Irish Government has not extended the Covid-19 Unemployment Payment to cross-border workers living in the north.

Niall Ó Donnghaile said:

“I have written to An Taoiseach today to raise further concerns that workers and taxpayers impacted by the Covid-19 crisis cannot access the ‘Pandemic Unemployment Payment’.

“This is a challenging and uncertain enough time for many and it’s welcome that protections are in place for workers and families north and south.

“However, it is even more devastating for people who, despite paying their taxes to the state, will be refused benefits because they happen to reside in a different part of Ireland.

“This is totally unacceptable. The government has a duty of care to protect these workers at this time of crisis. They should be providing a safety net for them and their families on the same basis as they are for other workers.

“Leo Varadkar made a commitment that citizens in the north would not be left behind again – then why are workers and taxpayers living in Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone being left behind?

“It’s time to end this injustice. The government must work speedily to ensure they are able to avail of this payment without this unnecessary bureaucracy.”

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