Cutting seasonal workers' pandemic payments 'unfair' and 'wrong for the economy', says Pearse Doherty

Sinn Féin's finance spokesman, Pearse Doherty, has said that it is unfair to cut the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) for part-time workers by 42%.

The payment for part-time workers is to be reduced from €350 to the Jobseeker's allowance rate of €203 per week

The payment for full-time workers will be phased out over time.

Mr Doherty said: “They’re talking about part-time workers, but what does that actually mean? Does that mean everybody who doesn’t work 40 hours is going to see their income drop?"

He said many seasonal workers - including students - would be working full-time during the summer, even if they were working part-time back in March.

Deputy Doherty said that cutting payments for everyone would be the wrong thing to do, although acknowledged there is a need to deal with "anomalies".

However, the Sinn Féin TD said that those who have been most severely affected by the pandemic are people on low-pay.

He said: “People like my mother who worked the couple of shifts she could get, cleaning the café and all the rest during the winter period… worked every hour she got when the hotels opened.

"These are the types of people that Regina Doherty, Leo Varadkar and Paschal Donohoe are sitting around saying ‘we should cut their supports’.

Not only is it unfair to those seasonal workers, but it’s actually the wrong thing to do for the economy.

"When a conservative government like Germany is going to give €300 to every single child in the state… our Government is talking about taking away money from families, and therefore taking money away from the domestic economy and businesses."