Kilkenny TD urges Government to extend pandemic payments
A local TD has urged the Government not to abandon workers in need of continuing pandemic income supports.
Carlow-Kilkenny TD Kathleen Funchion has called on the colaition to ensure the Short-Time Work Support (STWS) payment is extended for workers in industries still unable to reopen fully due to ongoing public health restrictions.
The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) is due to cease at the end of June. Those on the STWS, a form of Jobseeker’s Benefit specifically for workers who have had their working week reduced on a temporary basis, can only receive the support for a maximum of 234 days.
Deputy Funchion said: “I am very concerned that the government is now abandoning workers on the Short-Time Work Support payment, which will mean thousands of workers face their supports being drastically reduced despite them not being able to return to work as pandemic restrictions continue.
“Many workers receiving the STWS are now in a situation where their eligibility is coming to an end because they have reached the maximum days allowed for this benefit.
“Despite this, many are unable to return to full time work as their sectors remain shut or severely restricted under public health guidance.
“This means that workers running out of time on the STWS will be left with means-tested Jobseeker’s Allowance as their only option. Some may not even qualify due to household income, others may qualify on reduced rates.”
Deputy Funchion, who is Sinn Féin’s children spokesperson, added: “Workers are already under huge financial pressure after an extremely difficult year. The government must do right by workers and ensure they get the supports they deserve,.”