Social Democrats spokesperson for the Arts, Gary Gannon TD, said today that a reduction in the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) will be devastating for Ireland’s artistic community.

Deputy Gannon said:

“The PUP extension announced by the Government yesterday as part of the July stimulus package fails to take into account the circumstances of many people working in the arts sector. The National Campaign for the Arts (NCFA) is concerned that the proposed decreases in PUP will have a disproportionate impact on freelance artists and arts workers whose livelihoods are effectively on hold until a vaccine is found and cultural events can take place at full capacity – I fully share these concerns.

“Some of those who will be most affected by the PUP reduction are working under precarious employment conditions and were earning below the minimum wage before the pandemic hit. There should be a special full Covid payment for artists and freelance technicians available until such a time that they can fully return to work. I’ve submitted an oral question to the Minister for Arts and Culture on this issue and will be pursuing it to the fullest extent over the coming months.

“We rely on our artists to give meaning, to help us laugh and, at times, to grieve. We need those gifts now more than we ever have. Our artists are our greatest asset and it is beyond time we valued them appropriately.”

July 24, 2020

Back to all Posts