‘Heartless’ – Wicklow TD condemns threat to cut jobseekers payments during Covid-19 crisis
Noone on social welfare payments should have to face threats of having their payments stopped and be pressured into sourcing work during the COVID-19 emergency, a Wicklow TD has said.
Sinn Féin poll topper John Brady revealed he has spoken to several constituents over the past week who said they were contacted by Jobpath providers Turas Nua and Seetec to inform them that they must continue to engage with them or face sanctions.
The Wicklow TD, who is also Sinn Féin social protection spokesperson, added: “They also confirmed that people are being pressured to find work and threatened that their payments will stop if they don’t comply while the current health emergency continues to grow.
“To make such demands and threats of people in already vulnerable circumstances during the worst public health emergency in modern history is heartless and needs to be stopped immediately.
“Thousands of workers have already been made unemployed since the COVID-19 outbreak began and many more face this likelihood in the near future also. The last thing we need is to be putting people into situations that could further escalate this emergency.”
Addressing the Dáil, Deputy Brady called on Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty to “immediately stop” all JobPath referrals and halt threats to cut jobseekers’ payments.
“During this state of emergency, we need to keep people well and save lives,” he said.