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Anderson calls on Home Office to change criteria for COVID-19 support scheme

10 December, 2020 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has called on the British Home Office to change its criteria for the COVID-19 Self Employment Income Scheme so it does not exclude people from the north. 

Martina Anderson said: 

"The COVID-19 Self Employment Income Support Scheme brought forward by the British government effectively excludes many people form the north as a result of its qualifying criteria. 

"To access the scheme applicants need to satisfy two of the three qualifying criteria; having a driving licence, a British passport number or a valid address. 

"Many people do not have a driving licence and those who do not should not be excluded from the scheme. 

"Similarly, many people in the north have Irish passports yet these are not accepted. In this way the scheme does not recognise the realities of the Good Friday Agreement which recognises the right of everyone to be an Irish citizen and have an Irish passport. 

"I have contacted the British Home Office calling on them to immediately change the criteria for this vital financial support payment so that people from the north are not excluded." 

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