April 22, 2020
Government must act on UN Special Rapporteur’s letter regarding Public Service Card – John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs and Social Protection John Brady TD has called for the Government to scrap the unfair and legally unsound Public Service Card scheme following a 40 page letter from UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights Philip Alston to the Government outlining the disproportionate impact it has on marginalised communities, as well as the lack of any meaningful legal basis for the cards implementation.

Deputy Brady said;

“It is clear that the Government’s dogged pursuit of the rollout of public service cards they are intent on ignoring that there are serious gaps in data protection and legal cover for this scheme.

“The fact it was dropped as a necessity for accessing State services at the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak stands to this.

“Sinn Féin have been consistent in our calls for the public service card scheme to be scrapped, and welcome the support for the end of this scheme from the ICCL and the UN, both of whom have been sharply critical of the scheme.

“The introduction of a mandatory ID system by threat of limiting access to essential public services flies in the face of good governance and public administration.

“This is a critical time in the campaign against the Public Services Card. Last year the Data Protection Commissioner after a lengthy investigation stated in a damming report that the PSC project over-reached its legal parameters. Now a UN Special Rapporteur has followed this call, highlighting the severity of the situation at hand. 

“It is time Minister Regina Doherty heeds the word of Special Rapporteur Alston’s letter and put an end to the Public Service Card scheme once and for all.”


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