Sinn Féin calls for Covid-19 payments to continue until December

Sinn Féin calls for Covid-19 payments to continue until December
The Sinn Féin finance spokesman said ending Covid-19 welfare supports too early is not acceptable.

There are calls for Covid-19 welfare payments to remain in place until at least Christmas time.

Sinn Féin says the payments will still be needed in December by up to 250,000 people who have been impacted by the coronavirus.

It comes as the Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe indicated that the schemes cannot continue indefinitely.

Sinn Fein's finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty, says ceasing the payments too soon is unacceptable.

He says: "The idea that the Government would be allowed to pull the safety net, pull the rug, from under them [Covid-19 welfare recpients] and reduce the income to their households is not acceptable.

"What we need to do is support those families and by doing that you are supporting the economy by creating demand in the economy."

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin's health spokesperson, Louise O'Reilly, has called for further supports to be made available to women and girls who experience crisis pregnancies.

This comes after new figures show 1,740 people attended crisis-pregnancy clinics across the country in 2019.

More than 13,000 calls were also made last year to the My Options helpline, which provides information on abortion services.

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