Dr Laura Bambrick: Flat-rate social welfare system is not working for workers – Irish Examiner

This week the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be cut by a further €50 as part of the gradual phasing out of the payment by February next year. 

Anyone who has not returned to work when their entitlement to the PUP ends and who meets the stricter qualifying conditions will transfer over to the ordinary €203 unemployment payment.

The relative generosity of the €350 emergency income supports for workers in response to Covid-19 has ignited public interest in our threadbare social safety net.

A recent OECD survey of public opinion found very high demand in Ireland (70%) for more action by government to ensure people’s financial security and address gaps in social protection — highest out of 10 rich EU member states included in the survey and markedly higher than the average for this group (54%).

An unusual feature of Ireland’s social welfare system is that payments are paid at a flat rate (typically

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