WITH OVER 1,300 local people working across the border, there have been further calls for the Irish government to pay Covid support payments to Fermanagh people working in the South.
Back in May the then chairwoman of the Council, Cllr Siobhan Currie, wrote to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection asking that the South’s generous Covid support payment be also made available to northern residents working in the South.
The Department only responded in recent weeks, stating the payment was not available to those working in the South and living in the North, the same way the Job Seekers Allowance in the South is not available to those living in the North. The spokeswoman added this was bound by the laws of the EU.
That claim was disputed by councillors at the October meeting of the Council, with Cllr Currie pointing out it had been established months ago no EU restriction on Covid support payments actually exists.
“The EU came back in July and pointed out it was at the discretion of the Republic who they awarded the unemployment payment to,” she said.
Cllr Currie said the southern government’s attitude showed “a lack of decency and empathy.”
“They are paying into a system and they should be supported by that system,” she said.
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