April 16, 2020
Blanket exclusion of over 66’s supports “unacceptable” – John Brady TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Employment Affairs and Social Protection John Brady TD has said that the blanket exclusion of over 66’s during the COVID-19 crisis is “wrong and unacceptable”, and that more must be done during these testing times.Speaking today, Deputy Brady said;

“Many people over the age of 66 chose to continue working instead of retiring. They use their additional non-pension income to make ends meet, pay their mortgages and other bills.

“Many of these workers, like others across the State have lost their job or been temporarily laid off due to the current pandemic, many are self-employed and the Wage Subsidy Scheme is also not an available option.  

“However, they are being discriminated against because of their age and cannot access the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

“The blanket exclusion of the over 66’s is wrong, it is unacceptable. These workers have paid taxes up until they lost employment and now the State has turned its back when they need financial assistance, that assistance is available to all other workers between 18-66.

“It was disappointing to see the Government rule out offering any sort of supports for over 66’s that will give them a break during this unprecedented crisis. This is a time when we need to protect our most vulnerable and ensure people have sufficient financial aid to live and look after their families. The Government must act to ensure that anyone over 66 that has lost work can access a payment of €350 which is the rate for the Covid19 unemployment payment”.

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