Monday 19 October 2020
Green Party MLA Rachel Woods has written to Communities Minister Caral Ni Chluinn to ask if the Executive will introduce £500 Test and Trace Support payment for people claiming qualifying benefits working tax credits and on low incomes who are required to self-isolate to avoid coronavirus transmission.
The payment is available to people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland at present.
The North Down MLA said: "This payment is really important in helping people to self-isolate safely. It's a payment to protect the lowest paid people in our society who often can't work home and will suffer financially as a result of the need to self-isolate.
"Covid-19 is also a disease of deprivation. There is a clear picture emerging of higher transmission rates in areas of economic deprivation. People on zero-hour contracts and insecure payments face serious financial pressures when they are required to self-isolate.
"The rates of transmission are getting out of control - and quickly. The targeted support that this Test and Trace payment provides it much needed. It's an important intervention for individuals and wider society as we look to get Covid-19 under control and support the most vulnerable in society."
Sinead McIvor - 07701 302 498\