Joe Flaherty: We need meaningful financial supports for affected workers and a ramping up of preventative measures
Longford TD, Joe Flaherty, has said he believes that we are moving into a critical week in the COVID 19 battle.
He said: "We have moved from initial scepticism to varying levels of compliance and yet there are many who simply haven't comprehended the scale of the challenge and the personal responsibility this brings."
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The recently elected TD explained that the financial implications will really take hold this week. "Those who were laid off and paid holiday pay or paid a full week's wages by employers, will start to feel the pain. The battles with mortgage providers, banks and insurers will get more entrenched."
Deputy Flaherty fears that the government's Emergency Pandemic / Jobseekers payment approach simply won't work not withstanding the massive efforts of the staff at the Dept of Social Protection.
He said: "Its unyielding and isn't working for all. For example if you are in receipt of an another welfare payment, as many low income families will be, you won't qualify for the €203 pandemic payment."
Added Deputy Flaherty: "The reality is that there are countless businesses presently closed across Longford and many simply will not re-open when COVID passes. For that reason and the well being of all our communities, the government needs to step in and pay 80% of all affected wages. That approach also gets over the issue where some employers want to pay a portion of their staff's salary. They also need to step in and direct banks and insurers to play their parts and support their customers and our neighbours and friends in a time of crisis."
The Longford TD applauded the efforts to defeat COVID 19 but warned: "If we listen to the experts and its a case of having to, we are two weeks behind the Italian curve and that worries the hell out of me. We need to hear this week that a serious scaling up of preventative measures is coming and personally I believe this has to be a full lock down."