March 31, 2020
Government must reverse discrimination against northern workers in Pandemic Unemployment scheme – Matt Carthy TD

Government must reverse discrimination against northern workers in Pandemic Unemployment scheme – Matt Carthy TD

Cavan Monaghan Sinn Féin TD, Matt Carthy, has confirmed that he has been lobbying the Minister for Social Protection to demand that she reverse the disgraceful position that denies workers who are based in the north, who have paid their taxes and PRSI in this State, are denied access to the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.  Deputy Carthy said that the issue is particularly pronounced in his own constituency where he has liaised with dozens of cases where workers are denied supports while their colleagues can access them.

He said:

“It is unacceptable that thousands of workers – who have paid their taxes and social insurance like everyone else – are not able to access the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Benefit because they happen to live in the north.

“These workers are being asked to apply for Universal Credit in the 6 Counties and this is causing serious economic hardship for these workers and their families.  

“I have been lobbying the government for the last week but they have failed to address this disgraceful anomaly.  I have written to the Minister for Social Protection, Regina Doherty, who has yet to even respond which is very disappointing.  

“This payment must be made available to all those who worked in this state and who paid their taxes and PRSI.  This issue is particularly pronounced in border counties like Cavan and Monaghan.  Over the past week I’ve dealt with dozens of people affected.  In some cases company employees that live just a few miles from their workplace are denied payment while their colleagues elsewhere can receive this support.  That is an unjust and unfair situation that must be addressed.

“This is an exceptional and emergency payment and it should be paid to all workers on an equal basis.  We in Sinn Féin will continue to press on this matter and I call again on the Minister and her colleagues in government to do the right thing”.

ENDS

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