Calls have been made for the government to reverse cuts to the level of pandemic unemployment payment in light of the new restrictions on some businesses.
People Before Profit Galway have said that the full €350 payment should be restored for people out of work just as Christmas is coming.
The government has indicated that it does not intend to reverse the ongoing scaling down of PUP, despite new restrictions affecting late night businesses.
On November 16 the rates of the PUP were cut from €300 and €250 a week down to €250 and €203 respectively.
This planned reduction of the PUP over months was meant to go hand in hand with the reopening of the economy, bringing the scheme to an end next year.
The Pandemic Unemployment Payment Scheme has been closed to any new applicants since July 8 last.
While most of the places which have been allowed to reopen remain so, new restrictions were announced on late venues such as nightclubs and bars last week, with a mandatory closing time of midnight.
For nightclubs especially, this has resulted in many businesses remaining closed, as the hours are not economical at such reduced hours.
Adrian Curran of PBP Galway said that it is “cruel and perverse” for the government to proceed with cuts to the PUP, especially with “Christmas coming fast”.
“Many bar, nightclub and other workers will now be unable to work through no fault of their own. They deserve our support, especially with Christmas only around the corner.”
Rather than reducing the payment, he said that the government should restore the €350, which was deemed the “minimum amount required to live on” earlier in the pandemic.
“This is a nasty act by the government, which will see ordinary people suffer this winter,” Adrian Curran said.
The reduction in PUP bands is meant to bring it in line with Jobseekers payment, and then transition those still pit of work onto that existing scheme.