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Assistance for Home Helps

18 July, 2007

Sinn Féin Foyle Assembly member Martina Anderson has revealed that home helps could soon be entitled to the same exemptions from parking charges which are available to doctors and other medical professionals.

Ms. Anderson said that Sinn Féin Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy has agreed to examine the possibility of extending the exemptions after she was contacted by one of her constituents.

Ms Anderson stated:

"I was contacted by a constituent who is employed as a home help and who told me that this is a major problem for people in health-related professions who make house calls as part of their work.

"Home helps, for instance, make several house calls per day providing an essential service to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. However, car parking isn't always available and it simply isn't practical for them to travel to a city centre car park.

"As a consequence many home helps are being regularly issued with parking fines and there is a very real danger that they will be forced to give up work because it is financially untenable."

Ms. Anderson has raised the issue with the Department for Regional Development and is hopeful that the exemptions will be extended.

"It is my belief that home helps should be entitled to the same exemptions available to doctors for instance.

"The Minister has assured me that his officials will look into the possibility of doing so and I hope that will happen as soon as possible." ENDS

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