Tipperary Sinn Féin TD calls for COVID unemployment payment to be extended to end of year

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Tipperary’s Sinn Féin TD says extending the COVID unemployment payment to at least the end of the year will be vital.

Martin Browne’s party say it’s the only way of ensuring those now unemployed don’t find themselves in massive difficulties.

It comes as a report in today’s Irish Times has found that almost 40% of people getting the government’s 350 euro a week were actually earning much less than that when they were working.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says the future of the payments will be known by the end of the week and they’re working on tidying up the scheme now.

But speaking on Tipp Today, Deputy Browne says we need to keep money in people’s pockets:

“We said it in 2008-2011, you spend your way out of austerity. That’s the advice we were getting that time. That’s the advice we’re getting now. And that seems to be the advice that the government are looking at this time around.

“You don’t bring in austerity measures to get your way out of it. We need people with money in their pockets, going down to the local shops, the local businesses and creating more money to get the economy back up and running again.

“The unemployment figures will start dropping as businesses start reopening over the next number of phases of this rebuilding Ireland.”