September 21, 2021
Business News

‘A slap in the face’ – anger as 2,337 Kilkenny people face pandemic payment cut

A Kilkenny TD has urged the Government not to cut the pandemic payment from next week.

Carlow-Kilkenny TD spoke out after recently published figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) revealed 2,337 people in the city and county are still receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

The Government has announced it will cut the payment from September 7 as remaining restrictions are eased and lifted over the coming weeks.

However, Deputy Funchion said: “It is clear that the pandemic is not over. The cuts to the PUP and the plan to transition people from the PUP to Jobseekers on the 7th September must be scrapped. These cuts are punishing people who cannot return to work and will hit young workers hardest.

“For many workers, their PUP will be slashed by €50 per week. For others, their income will plummet even further if they are transitioned to the Jobseeker’s rate.

“This will particularly affect workers aged 18-24, as the maximum Jobseekers they can receive is capped at €112.70 per week. As Jobseeker’s Allowance is means tested based on entire household income, young people living at home will receive even less. ”

The Kilkenny TD said the Government’s planned cuts are “a slap in the face” for those employed in sectors that have not yet been given a date for re-opening.

Deputy Funchion (pictured below) added: “This is about the core principle that while workers are prevented from going to work due to public health restrictions, they should continue to receive the financial supports they need.

“This government has badly let down the live entertainment sector, by failing to engage with the industry and be upfront about the sector’s future. While sectors remain closed, the incomes of those who worked in those sectors must be protected. Workers in this industry must not be punished because their sectors remain closed.

“Minister Humphreys and Minister Varadkar continue to be silent on this issue and are refusing to be upfront with workers about why they are insisting on continuing with these ill-timed cuts. They owe it to the many workers here in Kilkenny affected to be upfront about what they are doing and why.

“I am again demanding that the government urgently cancel the cuts to the PUP that they are planning to implement from 7th September. Workers in Kilkenny and across Ireland must not be unfairly punished by this government while their sectors remain closed.”

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