‘Families need mortgage holidays and protection against evictions’ – Waterford TD
The Government must act quickly to protect families, workers and businesses as the country feels the effects of the emergency measures to combat the spread of Covid-19, a Waterford TD has said.
Local Sinn Féin poll topper David Cullinane said there is “huge uncertainty across society” as people begin to come to terms with the unprecedented measures.
Deputy Cullinane said: “The hospitality sector will be hit badly with many Waterford pubs and restaurants leading from the front and closing for a number of weeks. The business owners and staff need to be supported at this difficult time.
“We have been in contact with government departments throughout the last few days on the issues requiring immediate attention, including legislation which needs to be passed at next week’s Dáil sitting.
“The social welfare system will have to adapt quickly to support families and workers where job losses, loss of hours or sickness occur. Illness benefit is an important part of this, but it is only one part of what must be a comprehensive welfare response.
“Parents may be forced out of paid employment to care for children for the duration of the public health emergency. These parents must be supported, not penalised.
“Families and workers must be protected against rent increases and evictions. A mortgage holiday must be provided for, as must a prohibition on utility disconnections.”
Deputy Cullinane also said the childcare needs of frontline healthcare workers “must be met as a matter of urgency” and urged the Government to work closely with workers and the childcare sector to find a solution.
He added: “Childcare providers and workers must be supported through the period of emergency closure. A package of measures including income supports must be clearly articulated as a matter of priority.
The Waterford TD also called for a three-month deferral of VAT payments to ease pressure on businesses.
Deputy Cullinane (pictured below) highlighted a range of financial measures required for businesses, including withdrawal of fees from banking sector on cashless payments, extension of loans and deferral of mortgage payments.