PUP cuts beginning today will cause avoidable hardship for thousands of workers - Claire Kerrane TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection, Claire Kerrane TD, has criticised cuts to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment which are coming in to effect today.
The PUP will be cut by €50 per week for many workers. The government is implementing the cuts, despite many sectors remaining closed under public health advice.
Speaking today, Teachta Kerrane said:
“I am appalled that the government has insisted on going ahead with these PUP cuts today. From today, thousands of workers across the state will see their financial supports slashed despite the fact that they remain unable to return to work due to their sectors being closed under public health advice.
“These cuts should not have gone ahead when sectors are only starting to reopen as a result of the updated public health guidelines, which took effect yesterday.
“The live and entertainment sector are operating at reduced capacity through no fault of their own, simply because they are following government guidelines put in place to keep us all safe. Yet many working in this sector will see their PUP payments cut by €50 per week from today.
“Yet again, these cuts are poorly thought through and ill timed. While we are emerging from the pandemic and looking ahead to the future with hope, the reality is that for some sectors the pandemic hasn’t ended yet.
“Last week, over 143,000 people received the PUP. While many people will be returning to work over the coming weeks, the Minister must acknowledge the reality that tens of thousands of workers are not in a position to do so.
“These cuts will represent a drastic loss of income for those who are still waiting to return to work, creating stress and potentially causing a financial cliff-edge for many workers. The PUP should not be cut while it is still clearly needed.
“I have been challenging Minister Humphreys on this continually, yet she has been silent on this issue for almost a month now. She has continually failed to be upfront with workers and explain why she is insisting on continuing with these unfair cuts despite sectors remaining closed.
“Last week, it emerged that she would not continue with plans to transition some workers from the PUP to Jobseekers; a change which would have devastated the incomes of many workers, especially those aged 18-24. I welcomed that she listened to my intervention on this issue and didn’t proceed with that aspect of the cuts. However, she is still insisting on continuing with some PUP cuts. I am again urging her to reverse this decision.
“Sinn Féin will stand up for workers and their right to be treated fairly.”