Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection Claire Kerrane TD has spoken out about conflicting measures which are seeing many workers without clarity about how their income will be impacted over the coming weeks.
The next phase of cuts to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment are going ahead, despite a lack of communication about what newly announced Covid-19 public health measures will mean for a range of employment sectors.
From today, those receiving the €300 rate of PUP will see their payment fall to €250 per week, while those on the €250 rate will see it drop to €203 in line with Jobseekers terms. Over 20,000 people are being transitioned from PUP to standard Jobseekers terms as of today.
These cuts come amidst new measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, which have been announced by Cabinet today.
Teachta Kerrane said:
“Yet again we are in a situation where the government is not communicating what new public health announcements mean for employment sectors such as catering and hospitality.
“People across a range of industries are being restricted in their ability to work, through no fault of their own.
“Without clarity and communication, employees do not know whether they can rely on next week’s wages, or if they will be provided with supports to ensure they do not face financial hardship.
“Another cohort of PUP recipients are being moved over to Jobseekers terms today, which require recipients to be seeking work.
“However, many of these people have jobs and are not looking for work. They want to return to work and cannot do so while restrictions remain in place.
“The government cannot proceed with winding down the PUP if people cannot go to work, it makes no sense at all.
“It is only fair that those working in industries affected by new guidelines are provided with the PUP.
“I am calling on Minister Humphries to halt further cuts to the PUP and to cease transitioning people to Jobseekers terms.
“She must also provide clarity about what supports will be available for the many thousands of people who will be affected by today’s announcements.
“It is shocking that yet again people are at the mercy of this government’s inability to align their actions to prevent people from falling of an income cliff-edge. It is unfair and must be addressed immediately.”