March 4, 2021
Business News

Low-paid workers ‘worse off’ under Covid-19 wage subsidy scheme: Waterford TD

Low-paid workers being left worse off under the Government’s Wage Subsidy Scheme, a Waterford TD has said.

Local Sinn Féin poll topper David Cullinane cited the example of Penneys, who are offering workers 80% of their usual pay, meaning many workers are receiving less than the €350 they would receive through the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

Deputy Cullinane said: “Sinn Féin have supported the introduction of an Income Support Scheme for workers and businesses to maintain a relationship between workers and their employers at this time, but we have also highlighted the shortcomings in the government’s scheme, which are now coming to the fore.

“Employers who sign up to the scheme are required to pay their employees no more than 70% of their net weekly wage, which for many is less than the €350 they would receive through the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

“I have learned this evening that Penneys are offering workers just 80% of their usual pay, meaning many of their workers fall into the category of those earning less than they would on welfare payments. This is completely unacceptable.”

The Waterford TD and Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, added: “Sinn Féin are engaging with ICTU and with Mandate on this matter, and we have called on the Minister for Finance and Revenue to ensure that the government’s scheme fixes a €350 minimum payment.”

Shane Doran

Shane Doran is founder and Co-Managing Editor of News Now Media, incorporating, and He is a former newspaper editor who has held senior executive roles across five national newspaper titles, both broadsheet and tabloid. He was News Editor and Executive Editor of the Irish Independent for more than seven years and spent a number of years in South Africa where he worked as editor of The Daily Voice newspaper. Shane has held senior editorial position with The Sunday Independent, The Herald and The Irish Daily Star and has served as Executive Editor (Group) of Independent News & Media (INM), Ireland’s largest newspaper group.

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