Sinn Féin calls on Government to delay cuts to PUP until arts and entertainment sectors reopen 3 months ago

Sinn Féin calls on Government to delay cuts to PUP until arts and entertainment sectors reopen

“How can we say to people, we are putting you on to jobseeker’s, when they are not unemployed."

Sinn Féin has called on the Government to delay cuts to the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) until the arts and entertainment sector are allowed to reopen.

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The PUP is set to be cut on 7 September, however, Sinn Féin's social protection spokeswoman, Claire Kerrane has also urged Government not to move those on the lowest rate of PUP to jobseeker’s allowance.

“I don’t see how we can possibly be in a situation in two weeks’ time when the arts and entertainment sectors are going to reopen overnight,” she told reporters at Leinster House on Monday.

“How can we say to people, we are putting you on to jobseeker’s, when they are not unemployed, they are not jobseekers."

As of last week, 153,000 people were receiving PUP payments, down 70% compared to February with 184,213 people on the live register.

Kerrane also asked Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys to explain why the changes to the payments were being made before restrictions placed on arts and entertainment industries were removed adding that she would hope to see the payments in place until at least the end of 2022.

to people why the changes were being implemented despite restrictions still being in place.

“It’s been an important support. What I would like to see is the rate of €203 remain as a PUP rate rather than moving that cohort of people, 29,000 last week, onto the jobseeker’s payment," she added.

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“We are going to see people getting only €40 to €50 a week, especially young people living at home. Their rate is not €203 on the jobseeker’s payment. It is on PUP. It’s €112.70 maximum on jobseeker’s for 18- to 24-year-olds. They are going to be on the floor when it comes to income."

Main Image: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie.