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Row back on PUP cuts a victory for common sense and decency - Claire Kerrane TD

19 October, 2020 - by Claire Kerrane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection Claire Kerrane TD has said that the restoration of the higher rate of Pandemic Unemployment Payment to €350 represents a victory for common sense and decency.

She said that previous cuts to the PUP were unjustified and future cuts are unjustifiable; and should now be taken off the table.

Teachta Kerrane said: 

"The cuts made by the government to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment were unjustified and future cuts are unjustifiable; given the massive challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, but I welcome the row back by the government of their previous position.

"This week has seen an increase of over 15,000 people claiming the PUP. This is a result of the increased Covid-19 related restrictions in Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan. 

"Over the coming days, with level 5 restrictions to come into effect Statewide, tens of thousands of other workers will become unemployed through no fault of their own.

"Job losses will mean more and more workers and families facing financial pressure and uncertainty as they try to make ends meet. The higher rate of PUP represents the least these workers and their families deserve to see them through this difficult time.

"It is important to note that this increase does not restore the cuts made last month, as it will only be paid to those who earned over €400 pre-Covid, but it will make a difference to those who were cut to €300 having earned well above that previously. This issue should be addressed.

"The restoration of the higher rate to €350 shows clearly that the previous cuts introduced by the government were ill-judged, and future cuts - while we remain in the midst of this pandemic - should not happen. Plans to cut the PUP in January now need to be taken off the table."

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