March 24, 2020
Government’s proposals fall short of what is required – Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has said this afternoon that the government’s announcements today in respect of facilitating physical distancing and providing income support at this time of crisis ‘fall short of what is required’.

She said:

“The Covid-19 pandemic is a crisis that must be tackled head on. This requires urgent action on the part of government and the additional measures announced today fall well short of what is required.

“Workers and their families are being placed at risk because we have not moved to shut down non-essential business activity. Dragging heels is not a solution, and people are rightly looking on and want a common sense approach to this. Many employers also want this to happen and are waiting for the guidance to take this necessary step.

“Obviously, to facilitate this there needs to be urgent action taken to ensure that those who are impacted are protected financially.

“Sinn Féin’s proposals in this regard would guarantee 100% of income up to €525 a week for workers and the self-employed who are laid off due to this crisis.

“The government’s proposal today comes nowhere close to that and does not go far enough. €350 is not enough for people who have lost their jobs. They will not be able to cope, to pay their mortgage or their rent and their bills, and for an adult with an adult dependent they would already be entitled to nearly €350, so this is of very little benefit to them.

“This shows how little is being provided to those who need it most and falls well short of what is needed to support workers and their families at this time.

“I think it is disappointing that the government has chosen to drag its feet and has resisted taking the decisions that need to be taken if we are to really going to get ahead of this virus.

“We need to keep people well and save lives.”

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