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SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Opposition criticises tax on pandemic unemployment payment

The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) will be subject to income tax, despite an effort from the Opposition to overturn the Government decision.

An Oireachtas committee is debating the Finance Bill which gives effect to Budget 2021 and has voted in favour of a section clarifying the PUP is subject to income tax.

Opposition parties had attempted to argue the PUP was not taxable prior to August, when the payment was put on a legal footing.

Sinn Féin's finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty said the tax on the payment is a move that will further punish those who lost their jobs.

These aren’t high earners in the main

“These aren’t high earners in the main. Somebody who had a total income of €23,850 this year, this year, will now pay an additional, possibly up to an additional €1,470 because of this amendment,” he said.

“How many times as Finance Minister have you brought forward an amendment to the Finance Act that actually asked us to rewind back time and tax income in this way,” he continued.

“Because by God you never did it for the vulture funds. By God you didn’t do it for the banks when they were carrying forward their losses.”

The weekly PUP began in March to support workers who had lost income due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Government and Revenue Commissioners had previously stated the payment, like other social welfare payments, is subject to income tax.