Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd has said the Economy Minister needs to act to remove any barriers preventing her from extending the £500 COVID-19 support payment to all students.
The Upper Bann MLA said:
“I have continuously called on Economy Minister Diane Dodds to extend the £500 COVID-19 support payments to all students, including those in further education, part time students, international students and those studying in the south and Britain.
“The Minister has repeatedly said she needs legal powers to do this.
“I have asked Minister Dodds to clarify what these barriers are, and it was agreed at the Economy Committee that the Minister should amend the legislation if necessary, to extend the payment.
“The Minister must heed this call and ensure that excluded students, particularly in Further Education are treated equally and given the financial support they deserve.”