Cross-border workers need clarity on emergency support, say SDLP

Thu, 26/03/2020 - 15:45 -- Editor

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has written to the Tánaiste and the First and deputy First Ministers today requesting urgent clarity on the support available to those people resident in the North who work in the South as the coronavirus crisis continues.

The Foyle MP said that currently, those resident in the North are not able to benefit from the Irish Government pandemic payment scheme and they can’t access the British Government’s Job Retention Scheme, forcing them to rely on Universal Credit.

Colum Eastwood MP said: “Workers in border communities need urgent clarity on the support available to them as the coronavirus crisis continues. 

“As it stands, people living in the North and working in the South can’t access the Irish Government’s €350 pandemic payment and they won’t benefit from the British Government’s Job Retention Scheme. They’re falling through the cracks, creating additional distress and a very difficult time.

“I’ve written to the Tánaiste and the First and deputy First Ministers today seeking clarity and urging them to work more closely together to resolve this situation. People already feel isolated, we cannot abandon them when they’re vulnerable. This needs a resolution quickly.”