Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection Claire Kerrane TD has urged Minister Heather Humphreys to give clarity to workers in the live entertainment sector about the future of financial supports they receive.
Speaking today, Teachta Kerrane said:
“Today Minister Catherine Martin is meeting with representatives of the live entertainment sector to discuss the government’s ongoing failure to provide a roadmap for the industry to reopen safely.
“I welcome that this engagement is taking place, after those in the sector have been urging the government to act for so long.
“However, I would also urge Minister Heather Humphreys to act urgently and give workers in the sector certainty around income supports.
“Cuts to pandemic income supports are coming down the tracks in less than 3 weeks. The current PUP rates of €350, €300 and €250 will be reduced by €50. These cuts will see many workers, including those in the live entertainment sector, currently on the a Pandemic Unemployment Payment rate of €203 being moved to Jobseekers payments.
“Over 29,000 people received €203 this week and so it is this cohort who will be moved to Jobseekers payments from September.
“Jobseeker’s Allowance is a means tested payment in which entire household income is taken into account. This will have a huge impact on the finances of people who are already put at the pin of their collar.
“A plan for reopening is important, but it is also vital that Minister Humphreys outlines what the future will be for financial supports for those who remain unable to work due to public health restrictions.
“I have met this week with the Music and Entertainment Association of Ireland (MEAI) who have sought several meetings with Minister Humphrey to discuss their concerns.
“I contacted Minister Humphreys after this meeting urging her to meet with the MEAI to hear them out.
“This isn’t an acceptable situation and Minister Humphreys should have the decency to meet with them and provide them with an update on this important issue.
“Many workers in this sector will be deeply anxious as the PUP cuts draw closer without them knowing what their future finances will look like. The Minister needs to re-consider these changes and the implications it will have on workers in the Arts Sector who cannot work through no fault of their own.”