Speculation around cuts to Pandemic Unemployment Payment ‘deeply unhelpful’ – Claire Kerrane TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection Claire Kerrane TD has criticised the government for the lack of clarity around the future of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), amid speculation of cuts to the income support.
Speaking earlier today, Teachta Kerrane said:
“Speculation around cuts to the PUP is of serious concern and deeply unhelpful at this time.
“At this morning’s Social Protection Committee meeting I requested that we seek clarity from the Department of Social Protection on plans for the PUP.
“Talk of proposed cuts could have serious implications for those receiving the PUP.
“A possible move from the PUP to either Jobseeker’s Allowance and Jobseeker’s Benefit will see a number of key changes to supports for those out of work due to Covid-19. Most importantly, the maximum rate is €203, which means individuals and their families are faced with a significant drop in their weekly income.
“Under Jobseeker’s Allowance and Benefit, those aged 18-24 are on a reduced rate of €112.70, which is just unacceptable at a time when so many are struggling to meet costs.
“As well as this, a shift from the PUP to Jobseekers presents questions about the requirement to be actively seeking work and engagement with job activation schemes such as JobPath.
“It is not right to have those who are receiving the PUP worrying about their only income support, which they depend on at a time when working has been so heavily disrupted.
“Speculation like this at a time when so many things are already up in the air is unacceptable. I am calling on the Minister to provide urgent clarity on the Government’s plan for the PUP for workers and families.”