Labour Opposes Government Cuts to PUP

Labour opposes the Government cuts to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. These cuts are unfair, particularly for seasonal workers and students, and for part-time workers, many of whom are women.

So many people rely on full-time work and overtime over the summer to meet their living costs for the rest of the year, but they are being judged on their part-time earnings in January and February when it comes to the Government’s decision on cutting the PUP. This will leave many students lacking thousands of euro they need for their fees, rent and other living expenses. It will also plunge other seasonal workers into poverty.

The Government is moving workers who earned less than €200 per week in January/February to a lower PUP payment of €203/week, but those who earned €200 or more will retain the €350/week payment.

For example, a person who worked 19 hours/week at the national minimum wage of €10.10 earned €191.90, and will now have their income reduced to €203, whereas someone who worked 20 hours/week earned €202 and will retain €350. For the sake of just a few euro in the difference, some workers will lose €147/week from the PUP and will face real hardship as a result, and it is more likely to be women or young people who were working part-time in January. This is not fair.

We have created two videos to highlight these issues and to call on the Government to guarantee students greater support in the autumn and to create new apprenticeships and other work opportunities for young people. Please like and share both of these videos across all social media channels. [links] It is vital that we highlight Labour’s work on these issues and our commitment to ensure no one is left behind as the economy recovers from the coronavirus epidemic.

If you or people you know have been affected by these cuts or the lack of summer work, please tell us your experience by emailing

Join us in the fight for a fairer recovery from the COVID-19 recession.

In solidarity, Ged Nash TD

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