SIPTU Divisional Organiser, Adrian Kane, has welcomed a commitment by the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, to provide increased payments to workers who lose their jobs and to link them to previous earnings. Under the proposed new system of pay-related benefits, workers who lose their jobs will receive 60% of their income from the State, up to a maximum of €450 each week. The Minister said she will have the new system of staggered rates of payment in place next year. Adrian Kane said: “SIPTU representatives have been engaging with the Minister’s office in recent weeks, seeking practical ways by which workers in Tara Mines could be assisted by the Department of Social Protection. While this commitment on increased and pay-related benefits is welcome, the timeframe will need to be brought forward.” SIPTU Construction Sector Organiser, John Regan said: “The Government was able to bring in pandemic unemployment and other payments almost overnight during Covid-19 and there is no reason why a temporary scheme could not now be put into immediate effect while the detail of a more comprehensive one is worked out.  “The layoffs at Tara Mines have had a devastating effect on the workers, their families and the local economy. The Government needs to urgently move emergency legislation on these proposals as waiting for next year is not good enough.”