Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo Dara Calleary has called on the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection to extend the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment to people in Mayo over the age of 66.
Deputy Calleary said, "There are a number of anomalies with the new pandemic unemployment payment. While it was introduced in rapid time, and I commend the hard-working civil servants who made this possible, issues need to be addressed. This includes the fact the payment is only applicable to people aged between 18 and 66.
"I have been contacted by numerous people over the age of 66 who were working but have lost their jobs as a result of this pandemic. The fact that these workers have been excluded from receiving this payment is deeply unfair and has left older people in financial difficulty.
"While I recognise the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme is open to those aged 66 and over, I don’t think there is any justification for excluding older people from the other main income support that has been established in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
"I am therefore asking the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection to consider extending the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment to people over the age of 66.
"I hope Minister Doherty will urgently review the eligibility criteria for this income support and ensure that older workers are treated the same as other workers and protected during this crisis", concluded Deputy Calleary.