Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection, Claire Kerrane TD, has welcomed long overdue support for parents who were struggling to keep a job while managing childcare without access to childcare and schools closed.
Speaking this evening, Teachta Kerrane said:
“I welcome that the Department for Social Protection has this evening confirmed that people who are unable to work due to childcare and schools being closed will now be eligible to receive the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
“I and my Sinn Féin colleagues have been calling for this policy change since May of last year.
“Far too many parents and families across the state have been put in impossible situations in needing to go to work to put bread on the table while trying to manage childcare. This was particularly challenging for lone parents where families, especially grandparents, have not been able to assist due to Covid restrictions.
“These families were then put in the unacceptable position of being told that they would not receive the PUP. The Government simply turned their back on these families.
“I welcome that this policy has now changed. However, I am concerned that the Government persisted for so long with this deeply flawed policy, which has caused considerable financial hardship for families.
“The Government must learn from this and ensure that in the future it takes a more compassionate and thought out approach to policies like this. Ordinary workers and families cannot be expected to suffer due to poorly planned policies like this again.”