Governments decision to tax PUP ‘A kick in the teeth’ – Matt Carthy TD
Local Sinn Féin TD Matt Carthy has slammed the government’s decision to retrospectively tax the Pandemic Unemployment Payment as ‘crass, unjust, and a kick in the teeth to those who lost their jobs in the pandemic.’
As an Urgent Needs Payment for its initial 20-week roll-out, the payment not subject to tax by law but, because the government retrospectively changed the law, workers have now received tax bills up to €1,400 higher than would have otherwise been expected.
Teachta Carthy said:
“Late last year, despite Sinn Féin’s opposition, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael TDs voted to change the law so that PUP payments could be retrospectively taxed. This was a kick in the teeth to those who lost their jobs during the pandemic and has resulted in an increased tax bill of up to €1,400 higher than expected. That people are learning of this during a period of another lockdown has caused huge frustration and anxiety.
“Up until August 5th, these payments were made and received under a framework whereby Urgent Needs Payments are explicitly exempt from income tax. The government set out to change the law in Finance Act passed in December to allow them to retrospectively claw some of this money back from people.
“It is telling that Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael had never changed the law to undo the significant tax-avoidance measures that vulture funds and banks continue to avail of.
“It is all the more galling that the PUP tax bills have started to arrive in the same week that the government approved a pay rise of more than €90,000 for the incoming secretary general of the Department of Health.
“Government TDs changed the law to enforce these new taxes, they must now change the law again to undo this punitive measure”.