Seanad debates

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Social Welfare (Covid-19) (Amendment) Bill 2020: Committee and Remaining Stages

 

1:00 pm

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)

It will only be information that is necessary and proportionate that we will look for. That is for sure. People will get their paid contributions for the full duration of the time they are on the pandemic unemployment payment. There is no doubt about that. The legislation does allow us to share information with Revenue. We have to do this. What I meant was that we will not share information with anybody else. My officials assure me we do not share information with any other agency, such as the Dublin Airport Authority, or anybody else. I listed them earlier and I want to be clear on this.

To go back to the payment and cross-Border workers, I am very familiar with the cross-Border workers because I know many of them who have contacted my office. I did look at this to see whether there was anything we could do to give them a payment because they were working in Monaghan and living in Armagh. I spoke to them. There is no way under the rules we have, which are set there for frontier workers, that they are eligible to get the payment. However, they are eligible to get the wage subsidy scheme. For example, the employer of people working in a factory in Monaghan and living in Armagh was able to claim the wage subsidy scheme for them and make sure they stayed on the books of that particular business during the lockdown. People who work in Northern Ireland and live south of the Border in Monaghan are entitled to the full pandemic unemployment payment. What is gained on one side is lost on the other and vice versa. This has always been the case when people live on the Border. Those are the rules as they are. Anybody living in Monaghan, Cavan or Donegal and working in the North gets the full unemployment payment.

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