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Full Pandemic Unemployment Payment must be reinstated to provide vital safety net during Level 3 – Claire Kerrane TD

6 October, 2020 - by Claire Kerrane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection, Claire Kerrane TD, has warned the Government must reinstate the full Pandemic Unemployment Payment as thousands of workers across the State face job losses due to heightened lockdown restrictions.
The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland has warned that some 50,000 pub jobs are at risk of being lost as the country moves to Level 3 restrictions.
Teachta Kerrane said: 
“Sinn Féin have always been opposed to the cutting of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. I warned last month that cutting the PUP then was premature and short-sighted.
“Thousands of people across the State have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and through no fault of their own. They are under huge financial pressure, yet at the same time the Government is cutting back the vital supports they rely on. 
"We know that the average earnings of the PUP recipients now receiving €300 per week was over €500 per week pre-Covid. As a result, workers and families are pushed to the financial brink as they try to keep on top of bills and living costs.
"I know from the Household Debt survey I undertook that families and workers across the state are experiencing acute anxiety and distress as they watch their debt pile up, without any prospect of finding a new job.
“I am deeply concerned by possible further job losses as a result of the country moving to Level 3 restrictions.
“I am once again calling on the Government to reinstate the full PUP of €350 per week, to ensure workers and families can keep afloat financially in these unprecedented times.
“Sadly, it appears likely that as a society we will need to live with varying forms of lockdown restrictions for the foreseeable future. Failing to provide workers with a vital safety net in these circumstances is indefensible. The Government must act now to reverse PUP cuts.”  

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