No Evidence that workers are abusing Pandemic Supports


Dublin South West TD Seán Crowe has said the available evidence does not point to staff shortages due to workers abusing the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and said his party opposes the government’s proposed cuts to the payment. Teachta Crowe said: “For a number of weeks now, Government politicians and business, aided by some in the media, have been spreading a narrative that tens of thousands of workers receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) are living it up and refusing to return to work. “Recently, political commentators, politicians, and businesses ramped up these claims. The reality is these claims are not supported by data. As the saying goes, ‘everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts’.

“In recent weeks, only 75 employers have notified the Department of Social Protection that they are experiencing difficulties getting staff to return to work. “The reality is over 100,000 people have gone back to work since the partial reopening economy began this year. “Dr Laura Bambrick of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions has also reminded us that last summer over 400,000 workers willingly closed their PUP claim when the economy partially reopened.

“Those in receipt of the PUP are workers who saw their workplace closed because of the public health restrictions introduced by the Government to tackle Covid-19. Therefore, it is unacceptable for these same politicians to now come out accusing them of not wanting to return to work. “The usual anti-worker elements of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have been to the forefront of these lazy and predictable accusations, but their agenda is clear – create division and confusion in order to cut the PUP.

“Tánaiste Leo Varadkar ran a similarly scurrilous campaign when he was in charge of Social Protection alleging widespread fraud by recipients “As has been the case throughout the pandemic, the number of people on the PUP falls naturally as people return to work in line with economic reopening and the success of that reopening. “Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to be back in fulltime or parttime work by September due to COVID restrictions, so to cut the PUP based on dates and not actual evidence is foolish and cruel in the extreme. “Surely, it would serve the Government better to expedite the vaccine roll out and introduce the necessary economic supports to get society and the economy reopened instead of demonising workers and cutting the PUP supports of hard pressed citizens.” 

Sarah Brooks

Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at


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