'Utterly wrong' PUP cut decision will have to be reversed, says Labour

'Utterly Wrong' Pup Cut Decision Will Have To Be Reversed, Says Labour 'Utterly Wrong' Pup Cut Decision Will Have To Be Reversed, Says Labour
Opposition politicians have slammed the planned phasing out of the pandemic unemployment payment. Photo: PA Images.
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Vivienne Clarke

Labour Party leader Alan Kelly has said that he is predicting that the Government will have to reverse the decision to reduce the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) in the autumn.

Mr Kelly told RTÉ radio’s News at One that taking payment away from workers in sectors like aviation and entertainment was “completely and utterly wrong.”

“If you're working in aviation, working in music or arts - the bills are still coming through the door and have to be paid - none of these sectors are going to be back. The idea that you're taking that payment away from those sectors is totally wrong.”

Responding to the Government’s economic recovery plan, Mr Kelly said that he had expected the EU recovery package to be larger than the €900 million announced. Similar packages in other countries, such as Poland, had been much higher, he said.



Earlier, Sinn Féin spokesperson on finance Pearse Doherty accused the Government of “pulling the rug” from under people with their plans to reduce the PUP by €50 per week from September.

Mr Doherty told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland that there was “a moral obligation” to support those who could not go back to work because of public health guidelines, such as workers in aviation, event management and hospitality.

Labour employment affairs spokesperson Senator Marie Sherlock said the Government was “disconnected from the reality of workers and their families clinging on throughout this pandemic.”

The reopening of the economy does not necessarily mean they will get their jobs back

“This blatantly ignores the reality for thousands who make their livelihoods from the retail or aviation or hospitality or leisure or arts sector,” she said.

Explained: How and when your PUP will be cut
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“This move will hit young workers in particular because we know that the reopening of the economy does not necessarily mean they will get their jobs back.”

The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, later told RTÉ radio’s News at One that the Government was giving nearly €4 billion worth of support to help the economy reopen and to help people get back to work.

Coalition leaders confirmed on Tuesday that the main financial supports for firms hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic will be extended under the State’s national economic recovery plan, including wage subsidies, grants, tax debt warehousing and a commercial rates waiver.

The PUP will be maintained at its current rates for workers until September.

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