‘Jaw-dropping’ confidential memo warns of ‘divisive’ phase

Memo outlines extension of rent freeze and tapering-off of welfare payments

Rent freezes and other temporary actions could be extended if the pandemic continues into June, as experts anticipate. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

Rent freezes and other temporary actions could be extended if the pandemic continues into June, as experts anticipate. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

A confidential Government memo has warned the next phase of the coronavirus crisis has the potential to be “far more divisive” as the full implications of the pandemic sink in with the public.

The note comes as the Taoiseach and Minister for Finance indicated the Government is to consider extending Covid-19 measures such as the rent freeze and the ban on evictions, but will assess how special welfare payments can be tapered off in the coming months.

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