Michael Staines
Michael Staines

09.27 27 May 2021


Share this article


Plans to announce a reduction in the Pandemic Unemployment Payment when many workers still don’t know when they will get their jobs back are creating a “huge amount of anxiety for a lot of people.”

The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar last night told his Parliamentary Party that the support payment will be phased out from October onwards.

He said plans for the reduction will be announced sometime next week.

Advertisement

Plan to phase out Pandemic Unemployment Payment causing 'huge anxiety for people' - SF

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

   

On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Sinn Féin spokesperson on public expenditure Mairéad Farrell said the announcement will “come as a surprise” to the thousands of people who still have no idea when their jobs will return.

“These people have not been able to return to work through absolutely no fault of their own and I think to create this uncertainty in relation to what kind of income they will have going forward, at a time when they don’t know when they will be returning to work really is quite unhelpful,” she said. “It creates a huge amount of anxiety for a lot of people.

Pandemic Unemployment Payment

She said the phased reopening of society is very welcome – but warned that the support payments must remain in place until the country is fully reopened.

“We all hope that by October, sectors will be able to go back to work but what we have at this moment in time is that the only assurance people who have been locked out of their employment is that their Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be tapering off from October,” she said.

She said the uncertainty has forced many workers to leave industries like hospitality for good.

“The Government kept telling us they were going to taper off the Pandemic Unemployment Payment,” she said.

“They were telling us, ‘in a number of weeks we will make a decision, in a number of months we will make a decision, it will be cut off by X, Y and Z,’ so people have had to look elsewhere.”

Unnafordable

Also on the show, public affairs consultant Gerard Howlin warned that the Government must face up to the fact that many people will never be returning to their old jobs because “the businesses in which they worked are gone.”

“When this is over, hopefully there will be a big rebound in the economy. But the best rebound possible is going to leave a lot of businesses permanently shuttered with no jobs to go back to,” he said.

“The sooner that is faced up to is best. The ultimate anxiety by the way will be a ballooning deficit that bears down on services that the most vulnerable in our society will need. Those cuts I think will be felt very soon.”

He said the State simply can’t continue spending at current levels while maintaining essential services.

“These payments were brought in in spring of 2020 in a context where it was believed they might go on for a couple of months,” he said.

“The autumn of this year is 18 months. It is a year and a half. It is an additional €40bn in deficit.”

"Harsh reality"

He said the “very harsh reality” is that the PUP payment has become increasingly unaffordable.

“That has to be faced up to and I think people have to be told that in the fourth quarter of this year, these payments will be reduced so that on January 1st next year they will be gone,” he said.

“The politics of that are very hard and I think that is what we are hearing this morning but what this country needs is a Government and an opposition that is prepared to put the public interest, in terms of the public finances, first.”

You can listen back here:

Plan to phase out Pandemic Unemployment Payment causing 'huge anxiety for people' - SF

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

   


Share this article


Read more about

Gerard Howlin Leo Varadkar Mairead Farrell PUP Pandemic Pandemic Unemployment Payment Sinn Fein Supports Varadkar

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Off The Ball

Off The Ball

19:00-22:00

Share

Up next

SPLANC

SPLANC

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-07:00

Share

TEAM 33

TEAM 33

07:00-08:00

Share

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

08:00-09:00

Share

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

THE HOME SHOW WITH SINEAD RYAN

09:00-10:00

Share

DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH BOBBY KE...

DOWN TO BUSINESS WITH BOBBY KERR

10:00-12:00

Share

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCR...

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCREA

12:00-13:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

13:00-17:00

Share

TECH TALK WITH JESS KELLY

TECH TALK WITH JESS KELLY

17:00-18:00

Share

SCREENTIME WITH JOHN FARDY

SCREENTIME WITH JOHN FARDY

18:00-19:00

Share

SOUNDSCAPE

SOUNDSCAPE

19:00-20:00

Share

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

20:00-21:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on