In response to growing Covid cases across the North, People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll has called on the British government to move urgently to protect workers and small businesses by restoring the Furlough scheme and allowing workers to protect themselves from the spread of Covid.
Mr Carroll stated:
“We are entering a very bleak period of the pandemic, with Covid rates rising sharply and the Omicron variant spreading. All indicators threaten a serious crisis, perhaps the worst yet, with Covid inpatient numbers projected to soon hit 1000. This will have a severe knock on impact on other health services, with hospitals under further pressure.
”The health of every single family could be threatened by this one way or another, and it would be reckless to wait until after Christmas to deal with a crisis that we can see coming. Emergency measures are needed now.
“The Tories and their followers at Stormont have failed miserably to deal with this pandemic, choosing instead to pivot blame onto the wider population, or the minority of unvaccinated people. Covid mismanagement has seen Westminster intervention scaled back prematurely.
”The same Tory hypocrites who held Christmas parties during lockdown have removed Furlough payments for workers. The Westminster government must now urgently move to restore the Furlough scheme, provide payments for workers that allows them to stay at home in their bubbles, and properly shelter from this virus over the winter period. Every party in Stormont should be shouting loudly on this issue, in order to challenge the nefarious Tory strategy.”