Government decision to tax PUP payments ‘a smack in the teeth’ – Matt Carthy TD
The government decision to retrospectively tax the PUP payments received by people who lost their jobs as a result of Covid-19 has been described as a ‘smack in the teeth to those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic’ according to a local Sinn Féin TD.
Cavan Monaghan Dáil Deputy, Matt Carthy, remarked that it was a pity that the government never saw fit to retrospectively tax banks or vulture funds. He has called on the government to scrap its plans to retrospectively tax the Pandemic Unemployment Payment which would see workers in receipt of the payment accrue tax liabilities of upwards of €1,470.
Teachta Carthy said:
“This payment was introduced as an urgent needs payment making it tax exempt under Irish law. The government has now decided to retrospectively levy a tax on this payment from when it was introduced in March of this year.
“This really is unprecedented – I am not aware of any other instance where the government has sought to retrospectively tax people for an emergency payments. Certainly they never saw fit to retrospectively tax the profits of vulture funds or banks who managed to avoid millions in taxes through special measures provided by government.
“Not only is this in breach of Irish law, it makes no financial sense. Why would Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael seek to place a tax burden of this nature on ordinary workers as we emerge from a further lockdown and are trying to kickstart our local economies? It is a smack in the teeth to those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic.
“The PUP was put on a statutory basis in early August, but for the five months prior to this it was an Urgent Needs Payment.
“This is essentially a ridiculous tax on unemployment.
“Workers and families, who through no fault of their own had to rely on this payment to pay their rent and mortgages, to feed and clothe their families, and just make ends meet deserve a basic level of fairness from their government.
“A tax on unemployment in the middle of a pandemic that has shuttered countless businesses simply points to a government out of touch of where the rest of society is at.
“The government needs to reverse this farcical tax immediately”.