THE Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, has defended a reduction in the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUB), which comes into effect from today.
The payments will fall from €350 to between €200 and €300, depending in the earnings of the individual before the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The new rates approximate very closely to what they would have been earning prior to coming onto the Covid payment” Mr Martin said.
“Covid-19 could be in place right through the entirety of 2021 and so the fiscal planning and planning around budgets has to take that into consideration.”
He said that €3.5 billion had been put into the pandemic payment to date.
Mr Martin has defended the decision to appoint ten new special advisors for the Government’s Junior Ministers.
Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald said she was ‘gobsmacked’ and ‘astounded’ by the move and hit out at the timing, coming after a ‘mean’ cut to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
Ms McDonald said: “I am astounded that your Government has approved the hiring of ten advisors to junior ministers at a time when you are cutting payments to people who have lost their jobs.
“€350 is not a fortune. Nobody in this chamber is on €350. I dare say the ten special advisors for your junior ministers are on an awful lot more than €350.”
Ms McDonald urged the Government to review and reverse the cut, adding: “The real danger is that people become more terrified of losing their job, their home and not providing for their families than they are of getting the virus.”Tags: