A cross-party leaders’ forum should be established by the Government to build consensus on a strategy for controlling and managing Covid-19 outbreaks, Róisín Shortall TD, co-leader of the Social Democrats, told the Dáil today.

Deputy Shortall said:

“Issues such as cutting the Pandemic Unemployment Payment or extending protections for tenants are political issues – but agreeing the best way to manage and control the virus should not be about party politics.

“Unfortunately, there has been little or no political or public engagement about the strategy that should be pursued in the medium and long-term, whether that is a suppression strategy similar to what we are doing now, a zero or near elimination strategy, or herd immunity.

“The strategy we use to manage the virus should be agreed through open, evidence-based discussion that takes a broad view of what is in our health, social and economic interests.

“There is no room to play party politics with such an important question, and the Taoiseach needs to seriously consider establishing a forum to enable much-needed cross-party consensus on this critical issue.”

September 23, 2020

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