Stimulus package of €3.5bn likely to be lost amid fallout from PUP cuts

Inside Politics: Opposition will see phasing out of supports as opportunity to attack

The Opposition will seek to ram home key messages that the Coalition is uninterested in fairness, the welfare of vulnerable groups, and is unnecessarily opening up people to economic hardship. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

The Opposition will seek to ram home key messages that the Coalition is uninterested in fairness, the welfare of vulnerable groups, and is unnecessarily opening up people to economic hardship. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

As far as sweeteners to a bitter pill go, having another €3.5 billion to throw at taxpayers is no bad thing. Unfortunately for the Coalition, amid the seemingly endless billions that have now been spent on the Government’s Covid-19 response, that sum is likely to be somewhat lost amid the predictable fallout from the cuts to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) to be confirmed later on Tuesday.

In Government, there are two near-universal views on the PUP. One is that as the economy reopens, it must be wound down. The other is that the Opposition will see this as a bona fide attack opportunity, probably the first genuine Covid-related vulnerability since the Coalition shipped multiple blows on mandatory hotel quarantine and travel over the winter.

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