‘I’m Not Aware Of It Having Been Brought To Cabinet’ [Updated]

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Law student Roman Shortall was stopped by Gardai at Dublin Airport; Garda statement on the incident

This afternoon.

Liveline on RTÉ Radio One.

Meanwhile…

Anyone?

Earlier…

From top: Fianna Fáil Minister for Education Norma Foley (left), Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Fine Gael Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan; Ms Foley and Mr Martin; Minister for Employment and Social Protection Heather Humpheys

This morning.

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

Education Minister Norma Foley was asked about the stopping of Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment and jobseekers’ allowance payments to recipients who travel abroad on holidays.

Ms Foley was specifically asked “where did this come from? Was that brought to Cabinet at any point?” She was also asked if the legal change was notified to Cabinet.

She replied:

“No, I’m not aware of it having been brought to Cabinet.”

Meanwhile, last night…

Virgin Media One’s Gavan Reilly reported on comments made by Taoiseach Micheál Martin about the payment cuts as a result of checks having taken place at airports, as reported in the Business Post at the weekend and the Irish Daily Star on July 2.

It followed a bizarre sequence of events including a change to the Gov.ie website where the criteria for claiming the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment was adjusted to include that people had to be “genuinely seeking work” to receive the PUP.

As a payment for people whose work has been suspended due to Covid-19 this stipulation of having to seek work appears to have been added to the list very recently.

(As recently as July 14, the Minister for Employment and Social Protection Heather Humphreys didn’t list this “genuinely seeking work” rule in a written answer about the PUP to Fianna Fáil TD Seán Fleming. In the same answer, she listed all the other criteria.)

In addition, the Irish version of the Gov.ie site doesn’t include this added condition of recipients having to be seeking work.

Curiously, on Sunday, the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar had told RTE that people receiving PUP had to be “genuinely seeking work”.

He also said the Department of Employment and Social Protection “gets information from the airports”, a claim denied by the Dublin Airport Authority and one which the Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon is now examining.

Mr Martin said he was seeking a report on the apparent change of policy regarding PUP recipients, while members of the Dublin Airport Authority are appearing before the Special Committee on Covid-19 Response this morning.

Meanwhile, yesterday afternoon.

On RTÉ’s News at One.

Minister for Employment and Social Protection Heather Humphreys spoke to Christopher McKevitt about the same matter. During the interview, Ms Humphreys was repeatedly asked if there had been a change in Government advice pertaining to PUP recipients. She continually didn’t answer the question.

Then, at the end of the interview, she said people who work in pubs whose work has been suspended due to Covid-19 don’t have to look for other work in order to receive the PUP.

From the interview…

Christopher McKevitt: “Just in relation to one item from, that emerged from the weekend, the halting of payments for some 104 people arising from their travel plans a Dublin Airport. Can you, as the minister, explain what’s happened there?”

Heather Humphreys: “Yeah well, we are at a crucial stage in relation to dealing with this virus and, as we look across the world, we see other countries re-introducing restrictions and asking people to return to lockdown and the Irish people have sacrificed so much and nobody wants to see us go back.

“In relation to travelling abroad, the public health advice is very clear. Do not travel abroad except for essential reasons and I want to be very clear. If any person intends to travel for essential purposes – for example, for health reasons, for a family bereavement, or for whatever, you know, essential reason, they have to go – you will continue to get your payment.

“And we’re asking and we’re encouraging people to holiday at home this year.”

McKevitt: “Right but…”

Humphreys: “And follow the clear, public health advice so that…and that’s so important in our battle to defeat this virus.”

McKevitt: “Indeed it is but can we just ask you on the specific point about leaving the country. OK, it’s the public health advice, not to leave the country but it is also the tradition that people are entitled to a two-week holiday how so ever they choose to spend that holiday is their own affair. Yes, there is guidance but it’s not enforceable guidance is it? So, so it seems to me that the Government has potentially penalised people on the social welfare code, for making that decision to travel, no matter how distasteful many people may find that decision of theirs to do so.”

Humphreys: “Yeah, well, the public health advice is not to travel abroad and that applies to everyone. So, for example, we have 340,000 public servants in this country and if any one of those chose to travel abroad they will not be paid for the two-week quarantine period when they return and, equally, there’s many private companies [who] have also told their staff that if they choose to go abroad, they will not be paid for the period that they have to quarantine when they come home. So we’re not trying to pick on anybody here. We are doing what is right by the country to protect our people.”

McKevitt: “Has there been a change…minister, minister, minister, sorry to cut across you but has there been a change in the Government.ie advice on receiving, or eligibility to receive the pandemic unemployment payment. Is it now the case that you must be genuinely seeking work? Because there’s quite an amount of activity on social media saying this is a new element that is being introduced to the qualifying guidelines as of this morning?

Humphreys: “Well, as the economy has reopened up again, of course we want people to get back to work and that’s why we’re investing a huge amount of money in trying to get people back to work. But just to be clear, under normal circumstances, there is a flexibility under social welfare legislation whereby a person on jobseekers can travel abroad for up to two weeks and it doesn’t impact their payment. But the point here is that we are not in normal circumstances. We’re in the middle of a global pandemic and it is in that context and in order to protect people’s lives…”

McKevitt: “Minister…minister…”

Humphreys: “…that we have temporarily suspended the flexibility that people can continue to receive their unemployment payment when abroad.”

McKevitt:Is there a change in the advice for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment? Let’s remind ourselves. It was for people who’d lost their job as a result of the pandemic or who’d been temporarily laid off because of the Covid-19 pandemic. That was, the expectation, for the 600-thousand-odd people who went on to it was that their job would be restored to them. Now, it seems that there is a new piece of guidance in terms of the eligibility to qualify for the PUP, that you must be genuinely seeking work. Is that the case?

Humphreys: “Yeah, well, you always have, for any unemployment…”

McKevitt: “No…”

Humphreys: “…benefit, you always had to be, you know, to look for work and genuinely be looking for work. But I think the point is being missed here. This is the public health advice, it’s to stay at home, and, and the point is that we should be staying in Ireland and in a couple of months’ time…”

McKevitt: “But is the message, minister, is the message now to the 300,000 or the 286,000 people who are receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, that they, as of this morning, must be genuinely seeking work? Is that the case now?

Humphreys: “Well for some whose industry hasn’t opened back up again, obviously if you work in a pub, you know, you’re looking to get your job back there again. But, for others, they should be looking for work and that’s what most people on PUP want to do, they want to get a job, they don’t want to be on the payment, they want to get back to work. But I just want to be…”

McKevitt: “No, but supposing they’re working for a company that can no longer afford to employ them. Is it the case now that they shouldn’t necessarily be looking forward to returning to their old job but should be seeking new work in a different work environment?

Humphreys: “Well unfortunately, yeah, unfortunately, there are going to be people who won’t be able to go back to their old jobs…”

McKevitt: “And is that new advice as of today?

Humphreys: “Well, no, it’s not new advice. Obviously if you can’t get back to work, you need to, most people want to get back to work, they don’t want to stay on the unemployment payment and that’s why I have extended it. You know, last week, in the jobs stimulus, in relation to the payment, instead of reducing the payment to €203 in August, as originally planned, the Government has decided to take a fair approach and extend the payment until April and that is because we do not want anyone to suffer a cliff-edge reduction in their payment.

“So we’re not telling people you know, that, to stay at home, we want them to come back to work and that’s why we’re investing €200million in back-to-work initiatives and job incentive programmes.”

McKevitt: “If we were to return to phase two, arising from perhaps a second wave, and people had to return, people who had returned to work having received the PUP, were to go back onto the PUP scheme again, would the advice be to genuinely seek work with an alternative employer?

Humphreys: “Well, if, of course, if we go back on to the, you know, if we go backwards, and we hope, we don’t go backwards, that’s the whole point of following the public health advice, that’s the whole point of asking people to stay at home this year, because the safest thing you can do is stay at home. But you’re looking at a situation that may or may not occur.

“But the point is, if you’re on the public, the unemployment benefit at this point in time, if you don’t have a job to go to, then you should be actively looking for other work. And, you know, if your job is no longer there. In the case of some sectors, for example, if you work in a pub, we are hoping that you will be able to go back to your job so you don’t have to be looking for work in that situation. But if you find that you’re going to be permanently unemployed because your job isn’t there then you should be looking for work and that’s why we have invested all of this money in a job activation programme.”

McKevitt: “Many thanks, Minister for Social Protection and Employment Affairs Heather Humphreys.”

Meanwhile…

Meanwhile…

Meanwhile…

Listen back in full here

86 thoughts on “‘I’m Not Aware Of It Having Been Brought To Cabinet’ [Updated]

  1. Joe

    What a crock of poo the now apparently changed conditions are for citizen’s receiving p.u.p. payments. If a recipient who hopes to return to their original job (they could be an employee with more than 20 years service) but is unfortunate enough to be then selected for redundancy, if they under the government now changed conditions are to be obligated to be seeking work, their employer can legally refuse to pay them redundancy. Urgent clarity is needed from the eejits in government!

    1. Cian

      Funny that nobody complained about the “changed conditions” when PUP was extended from a 6-week handout to being a longer term handout.

      The redundancy issue is interesting – that needs to be resolved.

      1. Janet, dreams of big guns

        silly statement, is the country open again, have the hospitals been given the funding to deal with a reopening, has the need for payment stopped ? People are meant to be grateful for crumbs out of the mess this government has made ?

        1. Cian

          As circumstances change the PUP should change?

          When PUP was introduced (it was initially a 6-week support) holidays weren’t even a possibility – we were in full lockdown.
          Now holidays are an issue – so the rules for PUP changes.

          1. Janet, dreams of big guns

            Holidays are an issue ? Such hypocritical nonsense,
            can you tell me why Texans are being refused entry to hotels but not to the country ?

          2. Cian

            Janet, I can’t tell you why Texans are allowed in. As I’ve already said – we shouldn’t allow tourists in from affected countries.

            But that is a separate issue to PUP and holidays.

      2. GiggidyGoo

        Nice FG spin Cian. ‘Handout’.

        Would that be similar to the increased pay ‘handouts’ for 3 Super Dupers?
        Would that be similar to the handout to Regina Doherty from Leo, which was meant to have been paid back?
        Would it be similar to the Long Route mileage handout to Zappone?
        Would that be similar to the Cheap Farmleigh accommodation rate for Leo, which he will reclaim as expenses handout?

        1. Janet, dreams of big guns

          imagine trying to shut the country down without compensation, there would have been riots , I’m starting to think that would have been better instead of this following a government that does not have the average persons interests at heart, just look back at FfFand FG track record, we need radical change before we end up a mini America

          1. Janet, dreams of big guns

            they have no respect for the people of this country, it’s so blindingly obvious, what is it going to take for people to cop on and turf them out on their gouging arses, people talk about scotes ? These are the real scrotes

  2. Cian

    We have the situation where a nurse that goes on holiday to Spain must take 2 weeks quarantine as unpaid leave (or out of holiday leave) on their return. Nurses and all other public or civil servant will lose either pay/holidays for the 14-days quarantine.

    The government has also said that people on Jobseekers will similar treatment – they won’t be paid for their holiday in Spain. Same/same for PUP. The State isn’t paying for *anyone* to go to Spain.

    Seems fair.

    Saying this, they are making a complete mess of the communications of this message.

    1. Clampers Outside

      +1

      And that Humphries interview was sooo cringey, fumbling like a fool… Just give short straight answers and she’dve been fine… Muppet.

    2. GiggidyGoo

      As far as read it Cian, if the PUP payment is terminated, it’s terminated in full and not just for the period of the holiday.
      Your example of nurses vs. PUP payees doesn’t stand up then, as their pay would be re-instated after 2 weeks.

      1. Cian

        I don;t know about that.
        There was a fellow on the radio yesterday that lost 2 weeks of PUP because he went abroad. He challenged the 2 weeks, because it was “essential” travel, and the 2 weeks were restored. It didn’t mention cutting the PUP.

        1. GiggidyGoo

          If it’s the same fellow, then no – it was the fellow who went to Scotland to visit his partner for 9 days, and found when he returned that his PUP was stopped. He had to re-apply, and it took 6 weeks to get it sorted, but didn’t receive any back payment. So, yes, it was cut.

        2. Dr.Fart

          CIAN, read the fupping post before commenting with SUCH authority. In the post you are commenting on, theres a full account of a guy who went to see his girlfriend abroad for 15 days. The guards checked his ID, saying for immigration reasons. The guy came back and his PUP was stopped completely. He wrote to TD’s and managed to get it reinstated 6 weeks later. But no back pay. Also he never gave his PPS number or was ever warned about losing PUP. It is indefensible. But you, king boot licker, will defend it how you usually do; divert from and dont mention any facts that discredit your makey-up nonsense.

    3. SOQ

      The reason why people coming back from holidays must quarantine is to prevent them infecting others- its not a punishment. People receiving PUP are not working therefore are already not in contact with their colleagues so why would their payment be stopped?

      The two are not comparable. What the government is saying is that if you are claiming this benefit then we have a right to tell you what you can or cannot spend it on.

      1. Cian

        The civil and public service are forced to take the quarantine out of unpaid leave (or additional paid holiday leave). They are not allowed to work-from-home (even if they have been WFH for the last 4 months) for those two weeks.

        The government is saying that they don’t want anyone to travel to most countries. If you choose to travel they are saying they don’t want to take the financial hit. They aren’t saying you can’t take a holiday – you can holiday in Ireland.

          1. Gah!

            It is not true that civil and public servants can’t lose their jobs. It’s a lazy myth. The difference is, as the state is the employer, the laws of the state, including employment laws, must be upheld, which means there are processes that must be gone through. There are, unfortunately, some employers in the private sector who disregard these processes. But this is a conversation for a different post.

        1. scottser

          and the ultimate consequence of that bizarre logic is that normal, law-abiding taxpayers will lie out of necessity.
          it happens far too often with this State, they make a shaggin liar out of you for the most inane reasons.

  3. Otis Blue

    I marvel at the fact that we live in a country where Heather Humphrys can be deemed fit to be a senior Minister.

    I wouldn’t have her taking the minutes for the tidy towns committee.

  4. Charger Salmons

    Normally when you pay peanuts you get monkeys.
    Trouble is Ireland is being run by highly-paid monkeys flinging their own waste about.

      1. Charger Salmons

        I’ve been telling you this for years.You’ve just taken a while to realise it.

        1. Janet, dreams of big guns

          nope I came to that conclusion since I moved back here two years ago instead of my yearly weekly visit mostly viewed through rose tinted glasses and based in Malahide where it has to be said you could be forgiven for thinking life was ok

          1. Lush

            Have to say J, I’ve been living vicariously through you, as far as going home is concerned, and I’m glad I didn’t.

          2. Janet, dreams of big guns

            I won’t be staying, I am so very glad to have been there for my Dad when he needed me and able to help the folks now again during this lockdown but quality of life is not a patch on France, I miss elegance, taste, refinement, wine you don’t pay an extortionate amount for anything decent ,food, weather, amenities, transport, healthcare, having friends from all cultures and not just a narrow few, I could go on. A few years and we will see where the wind blows ;)

          3. Janet, dreams of big guns

            actually I had a better time living in Nepal and New Zealand too, you couldn’t pay me to live in the States and that’s the direction Ireland seems to be taking

          4. Rob_G

            @Lush – sure the place is worse than Moldova if you are to bast it on Janet’s account; I would canvass a broader range of experiences before writing it off completely (though that being said, I wouldn’t be in a mad hurry to move back myself).

          5. Janet, dreams of big guns

            it is relative as Lush also lives in France and is therefore used to the standards lacking here,
            maybe if you did move back Rob you’d have a relative opinion

          6. Lush

            I’m well aware everywhere has its good and bad points; I think like Janet I’m just disappointed and saddened by the way things are being managed at the moment. There’s lots I miss about it too; as there are many things here in France that enrage me as well.
            I had hoped to be home for a proper holiday in west cork next month, but it ain’t going to happen.
            If someone could have a couple of decent pints of Murphy’s, a toasted special, a Blackwater N° 5 and tonic, a dinner at Café Paradiso, a long walk at Dunworley and a full Irish for me, I’d appreciate it.
            Not all at once obviously.

          7. Harry

            France isn’t without its issues. I was friendly with a black guy from Paris whom I worked with in Dublin. He loved it here as he thought no one cared where he was from and that his postal address and schools weren’t impacting his career.

            Then you had the riots outside Paris, post colonial hangovers – the Elf Aquitaine scandal being one of the most appalling examples of how former colonists continue to drain the colonies, not to mention the Therry Henry incident.

            Still an amazing country for all the reasons you have outlined, but it’s not perfect, like Ireland.

            Regarding the PUP payment and it’s restrictions, I see why you’re mad. The payment is a blunt instrument implemented in a short space of time. The restrictions are a blunt instrument in discouraging travel. You will find plenty of examples of where it’s restrictions seem unfair. They will be dwarfed by the positives though.

          8. Janet, dreams of big guns

            absolutely everywhere has it’s faults, nowhere is perfect and I do enjoy some aspects of this island but they are ones I would probably enjoy on holidays,
            based on my experience for the same revenue I had a higher standard of life in Paris, I spent my adult life there, it may be me too, it’s hard to readjust to a “home” that feels alien,
            maybe part of it is that coming back has shocked me and really opened my eyes to the extent of what needs fixed,
            just so you know my friends would consider me quite upbeat, I’m in. Amit of pain this week and a bit irritable in my comments, Ireland has a lot to offer so let’s get proper management !

          9. Rob_G

            The thing about personal anecdotes, is that they suffer from a large degree of subjectivity and a very, very small sample size (of one).

            http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries (we’re #3, btw)

            Not that everything is perfect, but your doom and gloom dispatches (“you could be forgiven for thinking life was ok” – arra jaysus…) are a bit over the top

            Reply ↓

          10. Janet, dreams of big guns

            you are entitled to your opinion, I have been very disappointed with how this country is run, I happen to love it enough to find that saddening and frustrating, there is room for a lot of improvement,
            however,
            let’s face it we don’t like each other much or at least what we gather from each other’s comments on here and
            so you are always going to ready comments in a tone/ attitude,
            in fairness I do the same with yours,
            let’s just leave it at that

          11. Mary (Never) Wong

            I agree with Rob actually
            the place is quite bearable and there are lots of decent people in it
            but you do have to seek them out and at the same time turn the volume down on the many obvious rob-g types who the tide left behind

          12. Janet, dreams of big guns

            The people are extremely decent and deserve better :), the countryside is stunning, Dublin could again become a living city, schools and hospitals and public transport and affordable housing could be properly funded, this is not the Republic anyone had in mind imo.

          13. Mary (Never) Wong

            I never really had the chance to emigrate myself janet, I do think it gives you a good perspective, however I traveled a lot, worked abroad at time, and try to surround or immerse myself in creative and collaborative projects., all of this helps.

            people here who the tide left behind as you can see are very inauthentic, perverse, ingrown toenail attitude to criticism, doesn’t mean anywhere else is perfect, quite the opposite, but acknowledging failures here for some is impossible, lack of intelligence, skill or class to be able to do it, and perverse and ingrained inverted snobbery particularly by the south side and rugby following elite

          14. Janet, dreams of big guns

            exactly my critique is not the country, not ALL it’s people, it’s the way it has been and continues to be ran, squandering resources, greed, corruption, bowing to the church, framing society so that it benefits the few, so that I see my sick Dad’s pension taxed, my commute to work a joke, rental prices for poo holes through the roof, people on trolleys in hospitals, tuam and cervical check scandals hushed as much as possible, local shops swallowed by British supermarket chains, excuse me if I want and expect better, that’s not doom and gloom it’s reality,
            but yeah gibbery Gee, ham sandwiches and the pint are great,
            yes sir thanks sir for the compensation payment of 350 while the new taoiseach gets more than the last one after the ten percent cut…
            rant over, I’m going to watch Father Ted at least it’s realistic ;)

          15. Charger Salmons

            I wouldn’t live in France if you paid me.
            For the same reasons why the cream of their financial class prefer to live and work in London.
            But I love living in Ireland.
            Nice countryside, sound people, decent boozers and great opportunities to make a good living.
            And it’s only a short flight back to my gaff in Blighty to check up on my investments.
            The only downside I can see of living here is being amongst begrudgers and doomsters who complain a lot but actually do very little to help themselves.
            The Irish have been softened up nicely over the years by the political establishment so they have them right where they want them by now.

          16. Mary (Never) Wong

            ham sandwiches are ok, fair enough, but even the pint in fact is mostly unavailable now unless the sandwich costs 9 euros

          17. Charger Salmons

            A few years back I came close to investing serious coin in a building project in the Languedoc.
            After about the fourth meeting with architects and local planners where they insisted on a translator being present even though everyone spoke perfect English I pulled the plug.
            That and the fact their building,electrical and plumbing regs were straight out of the stone age.
            And their bureaucracy suffered from the fact that there were ten people justifying public sector salaries while doing the job of one person.
            When they weren’t out on strike.
            their wine is vastly overrated.

          18. Janet, dreams of big guns

            their insistance on a translator was probably a discreet way of telling you to fupp off

          19. Lush

            Agree with most of that Charger, but not the wine. I draw the line at that.
            Much of it is over-hyped and over-priced but that’s the market.
            I must ‘fess up to working in the trade, but there’s lots of good stuff out there, at good prices, if you know where to look.

          20. Anne

            Only problem with France is the French though.. :)

            And all that etiquette stuff.. vous, tu malarky.

            Is it that much better there really? Ah you’d miss the rain surely..

          21. Lush

            I don’t bother too much with the etiquette Anne, and it is, very gradually, dying out.
            Don’t miss the rain, but I do miss those ‘soft days’, Ireland has rain like nowhere else.

          22. Janet, dreams of big guns

            I don’t mind the formalities, I nearly had a Mickey fit when I first got back, and the bank teller was calling me Janet, I was like eh it’s Miss C to you, caught me by surprise

          23. Anne

            It’s gas with some of the differences between cultures isn’t it..

            The French can be known to be quite direct too, which other cultures may find rude.

  5. goldenbrown

    that wan Humphreys is a car crash explaining a car crash
    what’s the real craic there?
    how has someone of that calibre managed to get herself to a ministerial level??

    (by jasus did I certainly pick the wrong career)

  6. Broadbag

    It’s an emergency payment, not a ”handout” which looks down on recipients or ”compensation” which is just…weird, some people are getting more than their job paid, some people are getting a tiny fraction of what their job paid so it’s certainly not compensation.

    That said, choosing to hop over to Scotland back in May because you’re desperate for the ride is reckless and selfish and probably should trigger the end of your PUP, but ONLY if it is flagged in advance that this will happen, you can’t just penalise people without advance warning.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Reckless and selfish?
      As in allowing arrivals from the US in, or as in allowing (when the virus was out of control in Italy) Italian Rugby supporters in?
      Did MM self-isolate on his return from europe recently? Or is he immune?

      1. Cian

        You are correct; the government is not being consistent.
        I agree, we shouldn’t allow (US) tourists into Ireland – it should be the same criteria as the “green” list for us.

        However there are some things that are completely within the governments control (PUP) and others that have external dependencies. It is easy to change the former – the latter is more complex.

        1. GiggidyGoo

          “Green list” mehole. Another term to add to the dictionary. Some destinations you can’t fly directly to, and have to transit through countries that didn’t make the “Green list”. Joke government.

      2. Broadbag

        Giggidy: As are all of the above examples, yes, agreed, two, three or four wrongs don’t make a right though. It’s akin to ”what about the bankers!” in terms of debate.

        1. GiggidyGoo

          But there was no legal obstruction to it. The recklessness actually then is on behalf of the government if it didn’t ban the travel.

          1. Broadbag

            Govt advised against all but essential travel, is there no personal responsibility anymore? The Nanny State didn’t make it illegal for me to stick my hand in the fire so it’s their fault I got burned?

          2. Janet, dreams of big guns

            “advise against” is not prohibition on pain of loosing compensation of income unannounced
            big difference

  7. class wario

    really reeks of them trying to massage the figures and have this ‘amazing’ reduction in PUP claimants to pat themselves on the back with by any means necessary

    1. Clampers Outside

      104 holiday makers is massaging figures with totals in the hundreds of thousands…..really?

      That’d be a reiki massage then, yeah? I prefer a good deep massage myself, not worth the effort otherwise, in fairness.

  8. Barry the Hatchet

    What an abject mess they have made of this.

    If you’re going to punish people for not following the rules, you need to be very clear with them about what the rules are in the first place. Introducing these changes without telling anyone about them in advance is ridiculous, untenable and quite probably open to legal challenge. Introducing them in such a way that they don’t make any sense whatsoever EVEN TO THE PEOPLE WHO INTRODUCED THEM is just fupping abysmal.

    Firstly, the requirement to be “genuinely seeking work” doesn’t make any sense because, in the rules as now stated on the Department website, the requirement applies equally to two distinct categories of people: (A) people who have lost their job; and (B) people who have been temporarily laid off. In my view, it is reasonable and logical to say that people who have lost their job should be seeking work. But people who have been temporarily laid off should not have to look for alternative employment because they have a reasonable expectation that their temporary lay off will come to an end. Even the Minister acknowledges this distinction between those categories of people in her incredibly unimpressive and garbled comments.

    Secondly, the removal of holiday entitlements has been done in the most haphazard and confusing way possible, to the extent that clearly no one understands what the new rules are. The gov.ie site states that PUP “holiday entitlement rules are the same as those for Jobseeker’s Payments”. It then goes on to state that “holiday periods permitted for Jobseeker’s payments have been suspended. Jobseeker’s payments will not be made to anyone who travels abroad” (note that there is a material difference between a “holiday period” and “travel abroad” which is totally ignored here). Then the Citizens’ Information website (which is operated by the DSP) states that, while PUP is not payable abroad at all, Jobseekers’ payments ARE payable abroad provided you travel in accordance with government advice. But then the Minister says “we have temporarily suspended the flexibility that people can continue to receive their unemployment payment when abroad”, which flatly contradicts the information on CI. HOW IN BLOB’S NAME is anyone supposed to know what the rules actually are?

    This is a fupping omnishambles.

    1. scottser

      exactly. and if you holiday at home i presume you’re still entitled to the PUP and amounts to the same thing – you’re still not looking for work.

  9. Ron

    Only one issue here. Those random fishing exercises by Social Welfare are unlawful. There has to be “reasonable grounds” you are in contravention of the law before they even come over and say Good Day to you. Unlawful.

  10. Rob_G

    “Any correlation between the Covid19 Tracing App and those who had their payments stopped ?”

    – how dafuq would that work? BS, please stop discouraging uptake of this very useful public health technology by embedding tweets from paranoid tinfoil-hatters.

    1. Mary (Never) Wong

      lol says guy who spearheads a personal campaign on here to vilify and objectify the poor and unwell

    2. goldenbrown

      Who knows Rob, but if you don’t ask questions you’ll never find out, to be fair there’s plenty of examples worldwide of IT systems designed for some bland purpose that with some feature creep become entirely useful for other purposes.

      actually regarding yer man Des McKeown’s tweet there……the tracing app isn’t the only information system I’d be interested in learning more about when it comes to activities at Dublin Airport.

      The DAA have a relationship with Collins Aerospace who have deployed their all singing dancing facial recog system “SelfPass”…cameras deployed at check-in, bag drop, airline lounges, security and boarding gates with a backend that constantly processes passengers’ face against passport information….

      I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about there atall, keeping us safe…but a tool like that can be stretched in all kinds of ways.

  11. Kevin Quinn

    One of the most worrying thing about this tawdry saga, in my view, is the use of the Garda to police a social welfare regulation.

    Despite a handful of disgusting cases of Garda brutality down through the decades (e.g. the heavy gang, the H Blocks Garda riot, the Robocop incident, the treatment of Shell-to-Sea protesters) and some corruption (e.g. the Maurice McCabe incident, the fake breathalyzer tests), the Guards have a remarkable level of support in Irish society, much more than in may other countries.

    This is really important. We have an unarmed police service, and its ability to control crime depends hugely on public trust and confidence.

    Today we learn that they have betrayed that trust. The job of the Guards is to investigate crime. Going on holidays abroad, even if you are a public servant or in receipt of state support, is not a crime. Any citizen with a brain would draw one simple lesson from this: Do not talk to the Guards unless you have to.

    Is Commissioner Drew Harris not aware of the damage this will do to the relationship of his force and the public? Why did the Guards allow themselves to be used in this manner?

    If I were a Garda, at any level in the force, I would be furious about this…

    1. GiggidyGoo

      Drew Harris doesn’t really give a damn. He was installed by Blueshirts Central. His views are Blueshirt views. His alliegance is to Her Maggoty. Only.

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