Tag Archives: pup

 

Um.

Michael O’Regan, veteran Parliamentary Correspondent of The Irish Times, adds gravitas to the rona debate.

Meanwhile…

Good times.

RollingNews

Earlier: Checkpoint Charlies

Mask Cheaters Cheat Us All

From top: Pandemic Unemployment Payment form; Catherine Murphy

Yesterday.

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy , in a written question, asked the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe to reveal what orders he has given to the Revenue Commissioners regarding tax liabilities for recipients of the wage subsidy scheme and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment  PUP) .

The Minister for Finance responded:

On 25 September in a public announcement Revenue set out how any tax liability arising on the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) will be dealt with.

Revenue officials sent a copy of its press release to my Department for information prior to publication. There was no instruction from me or my officials to Revenue in relation to this matter.

While the expected tax liability should be modest in most cases, the position as set out by Revenue is very welcome and is a further demonstration of how we will continue to work to minimise financial hardship to the greatest extent possible on taxpayers challenged by COVID-19.

While most income is liable to income tax and the Universal Social Charge (USC) and is deducted in real-time as and when the person is paid, the TWSS and PUP payments were not taxed in real-time and are instead liable to income tax and USC at the end of this year.

Revenue will make a Preliminary End of Year Statement available to all employees in January 2021, including those who were in receipt of the TWSS or PUP. The Preliminary End of Year Statement includes information relating to an employee’s income received, including pensions and income from the Department of Social Protection, Community and Rural Development, and the Islands, as well as their tax credit entitlements.

For the tax year 2020, the Statement will also include information on the amounts of TWSS/PUP payments, if any, received by each employee. In addition, the Statement will provide employees with a preliminary calculation of the income tax and USC position for 2020 and will indicate whether their tax position is balanced, underpaid or overpaid for the year.

Upon viewing the Preliminary End of Year Statement through myAccount, which is Revenue’s secure online facility for individual taxpayer services, employees will have an opportunity to update their personal record, declare any additional income and claim any additional tax credits due, for example qualifying health expenses, to arrive at their final liability for 2020.

Where a liability is finalised, individuals may opt to fully or partially pay any income tax and USC liability through the Payments/Repayments facility in myAccount. Where individuals do not opt to fully or partially pay, Revenue will collect the liability by reducing their tax credits over 4 years, interest free. The reduction of tax credits will start in January 2022.

Anyone?

Previously: Liable To Income Tax And PRSI

Rollingnews

This afternoon.

The Department of the Taoiseach, Merrion Street, Dublin 2.

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD provided an update on the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme, and announced details of the taxation of amounts received by employees under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

Meanwhile

Anyone?

PUP/TWSS recipients to discover tax liabilities in January – Revenue (RTÉ)

Sam Boal/RollingNews

From top: Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly, Labour TD Aodhán Ó Riordan, Independent TD Mattie McGrath; Dáil vote

Tonight.

At the Dáil sitting in the Convention Centre in Dublin.

Fianna Fáil TD Jack Chambers put forward the proposal that the Dáil adjourn this evening and return on September 15.

Before the vote, Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly proposed that the Dáil convene next Tuesday to facilitate questions and answers to and from Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and the Minister for Employment and Social Protection Heather Humphreys about the PUP/social welfare controversy and the statement made by the Data Protection Commissioner in respect of the gathering of data by social welfare inspectors and gardai at airports and ports.

Ms O’Reilly also said the Dáil doesn’t need a six-week holiday and that deputies should return on September 1.

Labour TD Aodhán Ó Riordan said Labour was supporting Sinn Féin’s proposal but added that another item needed to be resolved before the Dáil took its summer recess – specifically: “The issue of pandemic unemployment payments for those who are self-employed and those who are in receipt of employee wages and self-employed wages who are now going to be put on a lower schedule of payment.”

He added:

“Now we can only resolve this issue if the Dáil is in sitting and we can’t have a six-week recess for those who are in receipt of this payment. So it would be very simple for us to return here on Tuesday, have questions over and back on this issue and come to a resolution on the issue that has been outlined by Deputy O’Reilly and also the issue that has been outlined by myself.” 

Independent TD Mattie McGrath also called for the Dáil to return next week.

In the end, TDs voted 81-44 to return to the Dáil on September 15.

Meanwhile, earlier…

Watch live here

Earlier: Departure From The Norm

Reasonable Question

Tonight.

In the Dáil sitting at the Convention Centre in Dublin.

Meanwhile, earlier…

Related: Flac say Department’s rules on Covid Pandemic Unemployment Claimants holidays are not legal (Flac)

Bill says PUP recipients must be ‘genuinely seeking’ employment (RTE)

Couple’s child benefit stopped after trip abroad (Irish Examiner)

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

From top: Dublin Airport; Paul Murphy

This afternoon.

Dáil Eireann at the Convention Centre, Dublin.

RISE TD Paul Murphy called for a vote on the lifting of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) travel ban.

How did that go?

There  you go now.

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

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…

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