The COVID 19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is “meant to provide an income” for those who are facing “a very sudden drop in income”, so it is “deeply unfair” to exclude people on the basis of age.
This is the view of Sinn Féin Galway West TD Mairéad Farrell, who is urging the Government to lift the age restriction in place on the payment.
Currently applicants for the COVID 19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment must be between the ages of 18 and 66. Therefore, those of pensionable age and young people doing apprenticeships do not qualify to apply for this payment despite seeing a loss in income.
“I have been contacted by many families who have been affected by this,” she said. “They have made it very clear they continued to work after 66 because they had bills to pay and financial commitments to meet. The fact they have been excluded from this payment has left them facing financial hardship.”