People Before Profit criticise 'tapering off' of Covid-19 payments

Tapering off Covid-19 unemployment payments would destroy goodwill, says People Before Profit.
People Before Profit criticise 'tapering off' of Covid-19 payments

Tapering off Covid-19 unemployment payments would destroy goodwill, says People Before Profit.

Talks of how the €350 weekly payment will be eventually reduced after the 12 week time period has run out have already begun, with Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe stating it is “very likely” he will taper and change the Covid-19 welfare subsidies when they expire after 12 weeks.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said recently, "he had heard", some people were choosing not to work, as it was more beneficial to receive the payment.

People Before Profit have balked at these statements, noting there is no evidence that this is the case.

"I don't believe for one minute that there is any substantial number of people out there who want to be unemployed and stay at home," Richard Boyd Barrett said.

"There's no evidence for that. When employment was available pre COVID-19, the vast majority of people took it up, and in fact, we had a labour shortage.

"So I don't buy that narrative, what to me is beyond question is that, it would be counterproductive to attack the incomes of people in the aftermath of the current public health emergency and actually would unravel the goodwill and the sort of, 'we're all in it together', feeling that has been deployed during this crisis.

"We need guarantees from the government that health, housing, education, and the incomes, paying conditions of workers will be guaranteed, that they will get the sort of bailout that the banks got after 2008."

The socialist party also said that the current private hospital arrangement, which sees the government paying an estimated €115 million each month to use 19 private hospitals, as "scandalous".

"Some of the richest people in this country who own those private health care facilities are benefiting financially," Richard Boyd Barrett added.

"The fragmentation of our health services, whether it's nursing homes, private hospitals, has been a contributing factor to obstructing an effective, and timely response in some areas of the health service, so that has to go.

You cannot have a fragmented health system that is a clear lesson coming out of this crisis, so we're saying all of that private health care capacity, whether it's nursing homes or private hospitals, would need to be absorbed into an integrated, properly resourced, National Health Service.

"If we don't learn that lesson, we've learned nothing from this."

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