Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection, Claire Kerrane TD, has welcomed that the Government has accepted an amendment to ensure musicians will not have to face losing the PUP due to accepting casual gigs.
The amendment was submitted by Teachta Kerrane and TD Joan Collins, following consultation with the Music and Entertainment Association of Ireland.
Teachta Kerrane said:
“I welcome that the Minister has accepted this amendment. This will come as a huge relief for musicians who are already under huge financial pressures due to the pandemic.
“I had met with the Music and Entertainment Association of Ireland last week and they advised on how important this amendment is.
“It will mean that, given the inconsistent or unpredictable nature of work for musicians, musicians can earn up to €960 and still keep their PUP over an eight week rolling period.
“This is vital, as otherwise musicians taking a one-off, sporadic gig could face financial penalties.
“For instance, March is a busy month for musicians whereas April is relatively quiet. Prior to this amendment, musicians would have had to limit their earnings in March to €480 whereas now they will be able to earn up to €960 in that month where April is quiet.
“This year has been exceptionally hard for workers across the state. People are facing huge financial pressures as they try to make ends meet and stay on top of their bills.
“In many sectors, such as the arts, lockdown restrictions have made it incredibly difficult for workers to make a decent living. I know many musicians are deeply frustrated at the level of Government support they have received and the Government’s failure to take their particular circumstances into account.
“I have also asked that the Government provide certainty on the future of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment by moving away from plans to cut the payment at the end of January. Cuts in the New Year shouldn’t even be contemplated.
“I hope this amendment will be one step towards addressing this and ensuring musicians get the support they need and deserve. I also hope that it will assist others who are Self-Employed in earning and keeping the PUP.
“No worker should be left behind by an indifferent Government. Workers in the arts and music sector must not be forgotten about in this time of crisis.”