Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, Employment, and Workers’ Rights, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said the latest employment data from the Central Statistics Office blows apart the falsehoods and lies spread about workers abusing the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
Speaking this morning, Teachta O’Reilly said:
“For almost a year now Government, politicians and businesspeople, aided by some in the media, have been spreading falsehoods about workers abusing the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).
“Perhaps the most consistent contributor during this period has been Supermac’s boss Pat McDonagh. Now we have his latest anecdote, which is that he thinks ‘the PUP caused people to get a bit lazy’.
“Mr McDonagh is entitled to his opinion about the PUP, but he’s not entitled to his own facts, and the facts in relation to the PUP very clearly dispute his opinions.
“Despite the reintroduction of restrictions for certain sections of the hospitality sector, unemployment has reduced to 6.9 per cent, down from 20 per cent this time last year. When those workers on the PUP are removed, the figure is just 4.8 per cent.
“Indeed, CSO and Eurostat data indicates that the job vacancy rate for the hospitality sector in this State is lower than the EU average.
“The only fact in the whole debate is that the State subsidies companies who pay low wages with schemes like the Working Families Payment.
“Oftentimes, those in business who attack recipients of social protection supports are only too happy to receive corporate welfare from the state – but that’s just business, they’ll say.
“I also want to voice my frustration that these unfounded claims attacking workers in receipt of the PUP continue to go unchallenged, especially given many politicians, Trade Unions, academics, and journalists have consistently provided the facts to disprove these claims over the past year.”