July 29, 2020
Government u-turn on punishing PUP recipients welcome – Claire Kerrane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection Claire Kerrane TD has welcomed the Government’s u-turn on whether people can travel abroad while receiving welfare payments, without facing financial penalty.

Teachta Kerrane said: “I welcome that the Government has finally backed down and reversed this unfair and punitive measure against people receiving social welfare.

“This policy was wrong from the start and should never have been allowed to happen. While I am glad to see the Government is finally doing the right thing by making this u-turn, the fact that this policy was ever in place has exposed how out of touch they are with ordinary people’s lives.

“I am clear that people should not travel abroad unless their trip is essential. This is the best way that we can all beat Covid-19 and prevent a second surge.

“However, it is not fair that people on social welfare should be unfairly targeted and punished in a way that other sections of our society are not. Many trips taken abroad are essential, for instance to attend a funeral or visit a loved one and it is not fair that these people should face a financial penalty.

“This Government has been in place for just weeks, yet it has been characterised by chaos, gaffes and u-turns time and time again.

“From the very start, the travel ‘green list’ has been badly handled by the Government. People are trying their best to follow the guidelines in good faith but the confusing and contradictory messages from the Government have made this extremely difficult.

“Much confusion remains about this list and what it means for their lives. People are becoming increasingly frustrated by the Government’s shambolic handling of this issue.

“The Government must end the chaos and confusion and provide clear, evidence-based information which people can rely on.”

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