Wednesday 14 October 2020
Green Party NI Leader Clare Bailey MLA has responded to the latest announcement on Coronavirus restrictions:
"The announcement from the NI Executive throws up more questions than it answers.
"It's a disjointed approach with some businesses and sectors supposedly safe to operate and others not. We've arrived at today's announcement following weeks and months of contradictions and inconsistencies.
"There's been no sight of the medical and scientific evidence that has informed decision making. The support of the public was critical in driving down the virus earlier this year. Public support is slipping now and it's no surprise therefore that the virus is thriving.
"The Treasury furlough scheme is coming to an end and many other businesses have had no financial support whatsoever. These business owners have been facing into the financial abyss for the best part of a year. There is no hope for them in anything that has been announced today.
"It's been clear for some time that the Covid transmission rate is rising rapidly across our communities. The Executive has the benefit of medical and scientific evidence at their disposal as they navigate their way through this public health crisis. Ministers have told us, furthermore, of ongoing engagement with the Treasury and Westminster Government around support packages funding.
"Yet, contradictions around the measures and messaging locally and across the UK have been staggering. Eat out to help out. Close the restaurants and bars. Schools are safe. Children get an extended school holiday. Staycation across Northern Ireland. Essential travel only. Get students back to university. Distance learning where possible. Work from home. Go back to the office.
"We need to save lives. We need to protect our NHS from collapse. We need to support the most vulnerable in our society. But, in order to do that, the Executive needs to be clear, consistent and coherent. Public confidence must be won back.
"The financial impact of these measures on businesses and low paid workers cannot be ignored. The First Minister told us that there is no magic money tree. Another, contradiction given that the magic money tree blossomed to secure the DUP/Tory confidence and support arrangement.
"Lives and livelihoods depend on a consistent and coherent approach from our Government."
Sinead Mcivor - 07701 302 498