October 19, 2020
Rise in PUP claimants highlights need for financial support as restrictions increase – Claire Kerrane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection Claire Kerrane TD has said new figures showing a rise in the number of people claiming the Pandemic Unemployment Payment are deeply concerning and highlight the importance of any new lockdown restrictions being accompanied by financial supports.

New figures released today indicate that there has been an increase of over 15,000 people claiming the PUP compared to last week.

Teachta Kerrane said: 

“These figures which show an increase of over 15,000 people claiming PUP in the last week are deeply concerning. These numbers suggests that, as had been feared, greater lockdown restrictions are resulting in people losing their jobs.

“In the course of the last week or so, we have seen the entire country go to Level 3 restrictions, followed by Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan going to Level 4. Many workers and businesses warned this would result in job losses and this is now happening.

“This is deeply concerning and these job losses will mean more and more workers and families across the state facing financial pressure and uncertainty as they try to make ends meet.

“Sinn Féin have been clear throughout that the PUP should never have been cut. The Government’s decision to cut it last month from the full rate was short sighted and out of touch.

“Sadly, the pandemic appears to be with us for the foreseeable future at least. We must ensure that people who have lost their jobs or who now face losing their jobs due to increased lockdown measures are not abandoned by this Government.

“I am once again urging the Government to restore the full PUP rate of €350 per week. Failure to do so will see thousands of workers and families across the state in dire financial situations. This will become more and more apparent if increased lockdown measures force more businesses to shut their doors, yet the state fails to provide for their workers.

“These people have lost their jobs through absolutely no fault of their own and simply because of necessary public health restrictions which are required to keep our communities safe. We cannot abandon them. The Government must act now to restore the full PUP.”

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