Luke Murphy qualified last year with a diploma in live sound, lighting and stage production and was earning €1,000 a week before Covid-19 struck, though he needed it since his Dublin rent cost €1,000 month.
Following lockdown, he moved home to Carnew, Co Wicklow, receiving the €350 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. That was cut to €203. After an appeal, it was restored, but then fell again to €250 weekly.
He is disappointed that PUP has not been restored. “It is not enough to pay the bills. I can only survive on it because I have moved back in with my parents,” he said.
“Warehousing” self-employed taxes for a year without penalty is welcome: “It gives us a year to get them paid interest-free, but it doesn’t get rid of the problem.”