Irwin welcomes scheme opening

Newry & Armagh DUP Assemblyman and DAERA Committee member William Irwin MLA has welcomed the opening of the self-employed assistance scheme in response to the Coronavirus.
William Irwin MLAWilliam Irwin MLA
William Irwin MLA

He said: “This is an important scheme and will be of assistance to those within our hard working farming community. I welcome the progress and the significant work that has gone into getting it up and running. I understand that people have been making their applications to the support scheme online and that this will be done in stages to prevent an overloading of the system.

“I have however been made aware of issues around the system not accepting a Northern Ireland Driving Licence as proof of ID and this has led to some lengthy processes around going through credit checking for verifying identity. I raised this matter with my colleague Jeffrey Donaldson MP who in turn raised the issue in the House of Commons with the Secretary of State and I understand the Secretary of State has said that this will be looked in to urgently.

“Whilst of course verification of identity is a very important aspect of any assistance scheme, the acceptable forms of ID should be the same across the UK without any exceptions. Hopefully this can be quickly rectified, however in the meantime applicants should follow the instructions in terms of other methods of verification as directed by HMRC.”