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Sinn Féin calls for 'mortgage holiday' and 'all-island approach' to COVID-19

Sinn Féin is urging the Taoiseach to contact the British Prime Minister over his approach to cor...
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Newsroom

19.29 16 Mar 2020


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Sinn Féin calls for 'mortgage...

Sinn Féin calls for 'mortgage holiday' and 'all-island approach' to COVID-19

Newsroom
Newsroom

19.29 16 Mar 2020


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Sinn Féin is urging the Taoiseach to contact the British Prime Minister over his approach to coronavirus.

The party wants Leo Varadkar to pressure Boris Johnson to ensure Northern Ireland brings in the same school closures as in the Republic.

It says there must be an all-island approach to dealing with coronavirus and wants restaurants and cafes to be shut here immediately, and for a "mortgage holiday" to be introduced for homeowners.

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Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald says it's not viable to have two different COVID-19 measures on one island.

She said: "It is absolutely imperative that we have a single all-island approach.

"I think the Taoiseach as acting head of government has a huge responsibility now to be in direct contact with London, with Boris Johnson, to press that point home."

Ms McDonald said there need to be supports implemented for people who will be affected financially due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

She said: "We believe that there has to be support for people who rent, people who live in private rented accommodation.

“We believe there needs to be a moratorium on evictions. We believe there needs to be a mortgage holiday for people.

"We believe also there need to be guarantees there will be no disconnections of peoples' utilities, of their gas and electricity."

She added: "We acknowledge and recognise the decision taken yesterday in respect of the closure of pubs and bars and we are absolute of the view that needs to be extended to restaurants and cafes and that needs to happen today in advance of St Patrick's Day."

Her comments were echoed by the Restaurants Association of Ireland today who said the government should close cafés and restaurants in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Additional reporting by Shane Beatty

Main image: Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald speaking to the media outside Government Buildings today. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

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Coronavirus Covid-19 Leo Varadkar Mary Lou McDonald Sinn Fein

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