Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon has welcomed Minister Regina Doherty’s reply to him in the Dáil today regarding recent media discussions about a clawback on pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) for some groups including lone parents. Deputy Gannon has been pursuing this issue for some time now and has been highlighting the fear and panic it was causing in people now reliant on the PUP. He said that today’s reply would provide much needed clarity and comfort to such people.  The Minister, in reply to Gannon, said that whomever had provided such information to the media was wrong and that as long as she was Minister it would not happen.

 Gannon Said:

“The Minister’s statement is very welcome and so many people – some of whom are the most vulnerable in society – will take great relief from the clarity. This pandemic has illuminated inequalities that already exist and so if we are to emerge from this crisis in a better position then let’s learn from those lessons and ensure we move beyond a system which creates and fosters such inequalities.

 “There has been so much discussion regarding the PUP – whether that be about so-called abuse, tapering’s, clawbacks, etc – that people who are in receipt of it and struggling to keep their heads afloat are living in a constant state of fear and it seems there’s almost a stigma being generated by virtue of such conversations. We have to recognise that this payment is the only thing standing between so many households and the breadline. So let’s stop the nasty sniping and get on with emerging from this crisis with a new outlook -one which recognises that austerity should never again be on the table if we want to live in the kind of Republic we aspire to be. I thank Minister Doherty for her comments in the Dáil today and look forward to her successor taking the same approach.”

28th May 2020

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