Mixed messages on July reopening plans bad for workers Farrell says

Galway Daily news Freedom of Information

Clarity and an end to mixed messaging is needed on the reopening of sectors of the economy in July, and the pandemic unemployment payment a Galway TD has said.

Sinn Féin TD Mairéad Farrell accused the government of “kite flying” and giving mixed messages about the reopening of sectors of the economy and the continuation of the PUP scheme.

Ministers Michael McGrath and Simon Harris said last Sunday that a “very significant” decision would be made on Friday about the reopening of the hospitality sector by the end of July, including indoor dining.

However, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said to RTÉ’s Claire Byrne shortly that people need to “hold it” with demands for reopening dates, and that an outdoor summer would be the focus.

Deputy Farrell said that uncertainty about when sectors such as indoor hospitality, live events, and aviation will reopen, are badly affecting people on pandemic unemployment.

“Those people on the PUP in the three worst hit sectors need certainty as to what their income will be in coming months.”

“They will have to pay rent and bills and try to keep a roof over their heads. We are now just five weeks until July and we are still hearing mixed messaging from the government on this.”

Deputy Farrell also raised concerns about a lack of information on how the PUP and financial supports will be handled going into the summer.

“The government has said that the payment will not go on indefinitely, with the current timeline for the payment in place until the end of June.”

Alongside the release of the latest PUP figures today Minister Heather Humphreys said that there would not be a “cliff edge” reduction in supports on July 1.

The Minister said that the National Economic Recovery Plan for the future of state supports for businesses and workers will be released next week, and that the government needs to be conscious of the fact that some sectors are slower to reopen than others.