Pandemic payment legislation means you must be 'genuinely seeking employment'

Pandemic Payment Legislation Means You Must Be 'Genuinely Seeking Employment' Pandemic Payment Legislation Means You Must Be 'Genuinely Seeking Employment'
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Kenneth Fox
People who are receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment must be "genuinely seeking employment", according to new legislation passed through the Dáil last night.

104 people had the payment cut for going on holiday abroad recently. Opposition parties had sought to have this requirement removed from the legislation.

The Social Welfare Amendment bill puts the €350 emergency payment on a statutory basis.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett said the bill is about getting people off the payment

"What is the real agenda behind the bill? It has got nothing to do with the fight against Covid-19!

"It is actually about driving people off the pandemic payment and that is what is actually going on here.

"This bill gives you the legislative armory to do just that."

Unemployment claims

This comes as the Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said yesterday that more than 2,500 pandemic unemployment claims had been closed as a result of checks carried out at ports and airports.

She said the vast majority of these cases related to people leaving the country, rather than holidaymakers, and that the stopping the payments had saved the state €20.5 million so far. Some 2,000 of the cases relate to Dublin Airport.

“The PUP is only payable to people who are living in the State and it was never paid to people who travel abroad,” she said.

Fianna Fáil TD Willie O'Dea said it was "not right and proper that one category of people who don’t take the Government’s advice should be singled out for punishment.”

Earlier on Monday, a Dublin Airport Authority executive told a Dáil committee that he was not aware of social welfare inspectors questioning passengers at Dublin Airport.

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