Pandemic payment


Sir, – Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said that the reason cuts to the pandemic unemployment payment cannot be restored is because it has become apparent that it will be necessary to run the payment for a longer period than was first envisaged.

What this simply means is that those who find themselves without an income because of Covid-19 must share a capped amount of money.

If, as seems likely, the emergency continues for another extended period, Mr Donohoe’s response – using the logic implied by his comments – will be to further cut the payment again to make it fit the fixed amount set aside.

One would have thought that on the basis that “we are all in this together”, those who lose employment because of Covid-19 would have their incomes supported by ensuring that those who have suffered no loss contribute a bit more to meet the cost.

An additional tax band is the fair way to achieve that. But no, the Minister has confirmed that in the upcoming budget there will be no increase whatever on incomes, regardless of how large they are.

Hard as it is to consider, we are about to see an already dangerously divided society become even more so. At this point, it reasonable to suggest that it is not Covid-19 that poses the greatest threat to the well-being of our society. It is ideology. – Yours, etc,