Sinn Féin TD for Roscommon/Galway Claire Kerrane has said that the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is discriminating against workers aged over 66 years, who are being denied the emergency payment.
Speaking after contacting the Minister on the matter, Deputy Kerrane said:“Those aged over 66 years who were either employed or self-employed when COVID-19 hit are being denied access to the emergency payment that every other worker in the State between the age of 18 and 66 can apply for.
“I have been contacted by a number of workers across a range of sectors who are aged over 66 years and are extremely frustrated at being excluded from this payment support at a time when they have lost an income that they depend on.
“I am waiting on Minister Doherty to come back to me on the cost of extending this payment to workers aged over 66, however I imagine this cost would be small when one looks at the total costs associated with this payment.
“Age should not be a factor when it comes to workers who have lost employment,” she continued. “Over 66s are seeing a substantial loss in income and they are being left without the supports that other workers are receiving. This is unacceptable and the payment should be made to all workers who have lost employment regardless of age.”