News & Media

Government Needs a Strategy to Save Christmas

15 October 2020

Statement by The Labour Party

 

  • The people need clarity and confidence for the remainder of the year, and a strategy is required to save Christmas, in order to give people hope.
  • The 5-Level plan needs to be adhered to. Government communications of changes needs to be radically improved and made consistent.
  • Strategy needed to help people living alone not to become socially isolated.
  • From next Monday, Government have two blocks of 3-week periods to save the Christmas season for employers, employees and society in general.

In the light of the high numbers of cases yesterday, and the new restrictions that have been put in place, Labour Leader, Alan Kelly TD,  has called for the Government to outline to the public a clear strategy to save Christmas in order to give people hope. He also called for the communications of changes in the 5 level plan to be radically improved and for a strategy to be put in place to help people who are living alone not to become socially isolated due to the new restrictions.

The Labour Party is calling on the Government to:

  • Issue clear guidance and start a public information campaign advising people to use face masks and not visors
  • Write to all employers and remind them to allow employees to work from home
  • Introduce rapid Covid-19 testing
  • Restore to Pandemic Unemployment Payment to €350

Deputy Kelly said: 

“After everything the Irish people have been through this year, it is absolutely imperative that families can have a Christmas that is as festive as possible in the circumstances. The Government need a set out a strategy to save Christmas in order to give the Irish public hope. Businesses also need hope at this time, this is the busiest time of the year for retail and they need assurances that they will be able to do as much trade as possible ahead of Christmas  

“If that strategy requires the entire country moving to a higher level in the very near future, then that is what we will have to do. Time is ticking on this so the Government need to get their act together on this quickly.

“There are a lot of people, particularly older people who are living alone or are isolated who are very, very worried and upset this morning, which I fully understand. They are upset at the thought of not being able to meet other people under the new restrictions, which is completely understandable. The Government need to put in place a strategy to help people who are living alone to not become socially isolated. COVID is having a serious impact on the mental health of a lot of people all across the country, and the Government needs to address this.

“The way that the Government is communicating these changes also needs to be changed. The leaks have to stop. We need consistency from the Government in their communications from now on. This pandemic is causing so much fear and anxiety to large number of people, so the Government needs to radically improve how it is doing its business.

“We have a five level Living with Covid plan that has been distributed to every home in the country. We need to stick to this plan, not rip it up gratuitously. We have a very limited time frame to get this right for our people. It is imperative for the mental health of our country for us to have a Christmas.”