Border workers and welfare payments

 

Sir, – Frontier workers residing in Northern Ireland but working in the Republic are not entitled to the Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment. They do not meet the “habitual residence” criterion. Ironically, there is no such criterion to meet when the Irish Revenue is deducting income tax, PRSI and USC from the salaries of those cross-border workers. Those living in Northern Ireland have been directed to the UK government to receive the ridiculously insubstantial universal credit payment, approximately £73/€83 per week.

To add insult to injury, the frontier workers residing in the Republic but working in the North are entitled to full Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment (€350 per week), no questions asked. This is an outright disgrace! A display of extremely unjust treatment of those individuals residing North of the Border and above all a complete mockery of the Belfast Agreement.

At a time like this it is imperative that the Irish Government stands with Northern Ireland frontier workers and demands what is rightfully theirs, regardless of their address on the island of Ireland. Guide and assist those abandoned Border workers to present a petition and gain the much-needed support from the Irish State. – Yours, etc,

EMMA GEARY,

Newry,

Co Down.