PUP payment level must be restored for creative industries

Seán Sherlock TD
22 September 2020

Questioning the Minister for Social Protection in the Dáil this evening, Labour spokesperson Seán Sherlock called on her to restore the full €350 pandemic unemployment payment for those in the live events sector and creative industries who will not be likely to return to work for some time.

Deputy Sherlock said:

“The Labour Party has consistently opposed the government cuts to the €350 rate of the pandemic unemployment payment as it provides a critical income support to workers who have lost their job through no fault of their own, however I am really concerned at the impact of this on the live events sector.

“I specifically questioned the Minister today on the problems faced by those in the arts and entertainment sector who are least likely to return to work soon.

“I am making this case on behalf of the live events sector because there is no timeline on the restoration of those jobs. The loss of income is devastating to the sector, and those working in it. The tiered rates will have a huge impact on their quality of life.

“The ability for those working in the sector to survive has been materially diminished. The net effect will be a huge loss of skills and expertise. These are technical jobs and it is difficult to transfer those skills to other sectors. This is their life and vocation.

“Unfortunately, the Minister for Social Protection refused to consider restoring the rate for those in the sector but there is a need to acknowledge the circumstances of workers in arts, culture and live entertainment and events sector.

“I am asking the Minister to reconsider this. We manage to support specific sectors through the IDA and Enterprise Ireland for specific sectors, the same must be done for live events, arts, culture and entertainment. I want the PUP payment restored for all, but there must be some package of supports specifically for those who are least likely to be able to return to their chosen work until the pandemic is tackled.”

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