A CORK TD has called for an end to campaigns for rapid cuts to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) following a report that found over 95% of those on the payment would be better off in employment.
A report by the ERSI found that widespread job losses induced by the Covid-19 pandemic have had a substantial negative impact on household income.
The report stated that while it is estimated that PUP reduces financial work incentives for the newly unemployed, over 95% “are still financially better off at work”.
The report also stated that a substantial proportion of younger people, including students, may face sharp reductions in income when schemes such as the PUP and the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) are removed.
“Increasing the youth rate of Jobseekers Allowance and grants to those in education could help these groups,” it said.
Dora Tuda, an author of the report, said the study shows the extent to which the social welfare system, including the introduction of the PUP and wage subsidies, supported the incomes of those whose employment was affected by the pandemic.
“This research estimates that the PUP and EWSS halved the magnitude of household income losses. While concerns have been raised that PUP disincentivises employment the vast majority of PUP recipients would be financially better off in employment”.
Following the report, Solidarity TD Mick Barry said that groups should call off their campaigns for rapid cuts in the PUP.
“For the last few weeks, we have heard constant comment from the representatives of some employer organisations to the effect that workers are better off on the PUP and that supports need to be slashed in order to get people back to work. The ESRI report undermines that argument. It is clear that the way to reduce the amount of money being spent on PUP is to provide work not to cut the payments.”