Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has today held discussions with the British Minister for Welfare Delivery, Will Quince, on proposed new support measures that the British government are considering in England.
Speaking afterwards Minister Ní Chuilín said:
“On this morning’s call I made it crystal clear to Minister Quince that it is essential should any new financial support be made available in England to assist people, that this level of financial support is fairly replicated here.
“For too long we have been hearing of individuals, both young and old, families both large and small, having to decide between heating and eating. This is simply not acceptable. As we move towards the difficult winter months, which this year has been compounded by the Covid crisis, we will continue to deliver support to the most vulnerable and marginalised and I already have my officials working on exploratory work on a number of new schemes.
“These include further promotion of the self-isolation payment; exploring further food and enhanced heating support measures; and what more we might do to assist low paid workers. I have also tasked my officials to give immediate consideration to ensuring our homelessness support scheme is fit for purpose for over the winter period; making sure that asylum seekers and refugees in poverty are not left behind; and measures for enhancing community well-being to ensure we work to protect people’s mental health as best as possible during this time.”
The Minister concluded:
“Tackling these issues cannot be a wish list – they must be a priority. This will require considerable financial support and I will continue to make the case at every opportunity.”
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