Coronavirus: DUP supports call for temporary basic income

THE DUP’s leader in Westminster Sir Jeffrey Donaldson has joined with other party leaders in Parliament to call on the Government to introduce a temporary employment support package to provide a basic income for people during the COVID-19 crisis.

Commenting the Lagan Valley MP said: “The Chancellor was absolutely right a few days ago when he said “this is not a time for ideology or orthodoxy” and when he said he would do “whatever it takes” to support businesses, families and individuals. The COVID-19 outbreak requires a united response across our country.

“There are people in every single locality facing huge uncertainty about their jobs whilst others are helping protect the health of vulnerable people through self-isolation. It is not a situation that will be resolved within a few days or weeks and so urgent action is needed to ensure families can keep food on their tables.

“It is a time for political differences to be put aside in the interests of everyone and there has been agreement across a number of parties in Parliament to call on the government to introduce a temporary Basic Income for those who need it, whether employed, self employed or freelancing.

“This kind of guaranteed payment for anyone who needs it is a vital step which we are urging the government to take. There is a need to continue discussions with government about the detail, including its exact level and who would benefit.

“Unfortunately it may never be high enough to take account of everything families are facing, but it could provide important assistance and reassurance during a time of crisis.

“The government are faced with huge challenges, both for the health and economy of our nation. However, I would hope they will be able to respond positively and quickly to this joint call.”

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