A Kerry County Councillor has said that families need reassurances about being able to put food on the table – and should not have to worry about paying bills.

Councillor Michael Cahill said the crisis in regards to the health in this country at present has reached in to every home and every family.

“There are serious consequences for us all if we don’t all follow the guidelines set out,” Cllr Cahill said.

“However, there is a raft of other major problems that have come to us because of actions that had to be taken to stop this virus.”

He said there are a great number of people who will be without their usual wage, at least in the short term, and who will be depending on Social Benefit at a much reduced level.

“Our Government needs to address this situation where many will not be able to afford rent, electricity, medical expenses, etc., and indeed will be hard pressed to keep food on the table for their families. The stress levels will already be high due to the health threat and financial woe could make all of this unbearable. I believe rents need to be parked until we get through this and the same should be done for repayments and interest on borrowings.”

Councillor Cahill said tenants and landlords alike must be treated with compassion in order that life can continue as close to normal as possible.

“It is fabulous to see communities pulling together to deliver shopping and prescriptions to the elderly and at risk. These heroes and heroines are up there with our healthcare workers, Gardaí, Army etc. Let us now make sure that they and all their friends and colleagues can go home to a less pressurised household with food and heat and a little comfort.”

Councillor Cahill said the effects of this virus are much more than the serious sickness itself, but there are also so many knock-on consequences that must be tackled as a matter of extreme urgency.

He reiterated his call on the Government, banks and all lending institutions to play their part and come to the assistance of the thousands of hard pressed renters.