Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty has dismissed suggestions from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that people are profiteering from the weekly COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350.
The Donegal TD encouraged the government to instead focus its attentions on addressing anomalies in the job subsidy system.
As it stands, some low paid workers receiving 70% of their wage are receiving just €250 a week. Doherty believes a minimum subsidy payment of €350 should be set to address this anomaly.
Teachta Doherty said: “Families right across the country have seen their income collapse overnight and many are now dependent on the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment or the wage subsidy scheme just to keep their heads above water during this crisis.
“They are focused on putting food on the table and providing for their children. They are trying to make it to the end of the week during a pandemic.
“I have had a lot of calls and messages this morning from people very upset at the comments of the Taoiseach last night suggesting that people are profiteering on this payment.
“To suggest that anyone would be profiteering on €350 a week is not only insulting, it fails to understand the reality of what is going on in people’s lives at the moment.
“There are anomalies in the job subsidy system – some low paid workers receiving 70% of their wage are only receiving €250 a week, well below the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
“I believe that the Minister should use his discretion to set the minimum subsidy payment at €350 and he also needs to look at supports for workers on other incomes.”