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PUP cut will increase the already financially precarious position of many carers - Pauline Tully TD

3 September, 2021 - by Pauline Tully TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Disability and Carers and TD for Cavan-Monaghan Pauline Tully has warned the government that time is running out to halt planned cuts to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment which are due to take place on September 7th.

Teachta Tully said:

“We are now four days away from the government’s planned changes to the PUP.

“This will involve cutting the payment which will have a very negative impact on several sections of society.

“Another aspect of these changes, however, is that if you are on the lower PUP rate of €250 a week, this will reduce to €203 a week and you will then have to apply for a jobseeker's payment.

“However, this will have an even greater impact on many carers who are receiving a carers payment (Carers Allowance or Carers Benefit).

“Those in receipt of a carer's payment are permitted to work up to 18.5 hours a week, but many lost their employment due to the Covid-19 restrictions and were forced to go on the PUP.

“Many carers worked in sectors that still remain closed due to Covid-19 restrictions and are therefore, through no fault of their own, unable to return to work.

“The changes that are to come in on September 7th will mean that those now in receipt of the lower PUP payment of €250 per week will be removed from the PUP and will have to now instead apply for a Jobseekers payment.

“However, due to their caring duties, carers are not entitled to a Jobseekers payment as anyone applying needs to be available for, and seeking, full-time work.

“I have written to the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, to highlight this inequity and to request that she stop these changes as it will leave many carers who are already in a financially precarious position in an even worse situation.

“Time is running out, but it is not too late yet for the government to do the right thing here and safeguard carers. They must act as a matter of urgency."

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