August 26, 2021
Minister Humphreys’ silence on PUP cuts ‘is an insult to workers’ – Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD and Claire Kerrane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Arts and Culture, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD, and spokesperson on Social Protection, Claire Kerrane TD, have written to Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys demanding that she immediately scrap plans to cut the PUP on 7th September.

The cuts will see the PUP drop by €50 per week for some workers. For other workers, they will be moved to the Jobseeker’s Allowance which is means tested and could result in even lower payment rates per week, especially for young workers aged 18-24.

Speaking today, Teachta Ó Snodaigh said:

“It is now over a week since it was revealed that the government had failed to put in place a roadmap for the safe reopening of the live entertainment sector. Thousands of workers rely on the sector for their livelihood and have been let down by a weak Minister who has failed to stand up for them.

“Shockingly, the government is still insisting on going ahead with plans to cut the PUP on 7th September, despite these workers being unable to return to work due to the sector remaining closed.

“In the week since this development, no government minister has come out to say why they are insisting on continuing with plans to cut the PUP and punishing workers unable to return to work through no fault of their own.

“Minister Humphreys must not continue with these cuts. I am demanding that these cuts are cancelled.

“These workers must not be punished. They need the PUP to remain in place and for the government to engage with the sector about delivering a safe and manageable roadmap for reopening.

“I have written to Minister Humphreys demanding that she end her silence on this issue and that she cancels her plans to cut the PUP on 7th September.

“Workers in the live entertainment sector continue to be failed by this government and there is a growing sense of unfairness at how the sector has been treated compared to other industries. It is important that all sectors are treated fairly, and that public health advice guides any decision.”

Teachta Kerrane said:

“Workers on the PUP are stressed and anxious about these cuts the government is insisting on making to their financial supports in just over a week.

“They are unable to work as their sectors remain closed and therefore should continue to receive the supports they need.

“I have been repeatedly calling on Minister Humphreys to be upfront about what is happening and reverse this decision. Frustratingly, the Minister is nowhere to be seen and is refusing to publicly comment on the choice she is making. The thousands of workers affected deserve better than this and the Minister should be upfront about why she is insisting on going ahead with this. Minister Humphreys’ silence on this important issue is an insult to these workers.

“I have written to Minister Humphreys demanding that these cuts do not go ahead on 7th September.

“If she persists in this way, thousands of workers will see their finances devastated in a little over a week from now. She previously promised them that there would be no cliff-edge for financial supports but now she has gone back on her word and is doing exactly that.

“The planned cuts to the PUP cannot go ahead on 7th September. Sinn Féin will stand up for workers and ensure that they are treated fairly.”

The letter is available to view here

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