Fianna Fáil TD for Limerick Niall Collins says workers over 66s are being penalised by the government’s age limit on the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

The allowance is only available to people between the ages of 18-66.

Deputy Collins said, “My office has been inundated with calls from workers over the age of 66 who are annoyed that despite being an active part of the workforce, they are not entitled to the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment because they fall outside the age limitations.

“These are people who have decided to keep working and contribute to the economy and are now being penalised by a crude decision. They are suffering the same financial difficulties as other workers who have lost their job as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak and its public health ramifications. However, they are not getting the same level of allowance.

“I recognise that they can apply for the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, but I don’t see any reason why they should not be entitled to the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, if they had been working up until the restrictions were imposed.

“I am calling on the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection to consider extending the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment to people over the age of 66.

“These people should not be discriminated against because of their age – they should be entitled to the same allowances as other workers affected by this public health emergency”, concluded Deputy Collins.