PUP should be restored now – workers can’t wait until Budget

Seán Sherlock TD
25 September 2020
  • Level 3 restrictions in Donegal and Dublin show need to restore payment.
  • People have already taken cut to their payments.
  • Budget kite flying is wrong and playing with people’s incomes.

With Dublin and Donegal now in Level 3, and further counties on the brink, the kite flying that the cut to the  Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be restored at Budget is playing politics with people’s livelihoods said Labour Social Protection spokesperson Seán Sherlock calling on the government to restore the payment to the €350 rate which was deemed the correct support for the last few months.

Deputy Sherlock said:

“Over the past week we’ve seen government TDs saying that €350 PUP payment should be restored, and Ministers flying kites that the payment cut is likely to be either reversed at the Budget in nearly three weeks’ time, or changes made to how the payment functions.

“The government parties can’t play politics with people’s incomes and livelihoods. The growing incidence of Covid-19 shows the need for swift action. There are a range of sectors that simply won’t be returning to full employment anytime soon, while the move to Level 3 restrictions in Dublin and Donegal will see more hospitality workers coming back to the payment.

“We’ve already seen many twists and turns on government policy concerning the PUP and employment supports. We need clarity of communication, and a coherent message from government that the State will continue to support workers.

“If €350 was good enough for the last few months, why must it be cut now? We were told this government wouldn’t return to austerity. Over 100,000 workers had their payment cut this week.

“Estimated figures provided to me through a Dáil question show that based on current recipients at the start of September that 19% of PUP recipients would receive a PUP at the €203 rate, 24% of current recipients would receive a PUP at the €250 rate, and 57% would receive the PUP at the €300 rate. With most workers on the higher payment now is not the time to be cutting their supports. People must be supported too, not just businesses.”

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