Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín has welcomed moves from Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey to introduce changes to the benefits system to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Sinn Féin anti-poverty spokesperson said:
“I welcome the steps introduced by my party colleague and Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey today for benefit claimants to help contain the spread of the coronavirus.
“Face to face assessments have been suspended for three months and the assessments that do take place will be carried out by telephone or, where applicable, by post.
“While Jobs and Benefits Offices remain open, routine assessments will be postponed and those due to sign on will be excused from doing so with no sanctions against those who do not attend.
“These steps are responsible and will contribute to efforts to help help delay the further spread of COVID-19.
“I will continue to work with the Communities Minister to ensure these and other steps which will be taken to protect the public are communicated to everyone involved.”