TRENTON — Republican gubernatorial candidate Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli is backing a right-wing effort to end federal COVID-19-related unemployment benefits. Not to be undone, Assemblyman Ciattarelli believes New Jersey should “turn the spigot off” on unemployment benefits that have provided a financial lifeline to thousands.
Ciattarelli is following other Republicans who wrongly claim that the elimination of jobless benefits, “disincentivize[s] work.” This only stands to hurt individuals who are already struggling as a result of the pandemic and harms the nation’s economic recovery.
According to a report by Yale economists, there is zero evidence indicating that jobless benefits are leading to a workforce shortage. If this latest right-wing argument from Ciattarelli sounds familiar, it’s likely because it’s the same one that he has used to justify his anti-worker agenda — slashing benefits and opposing wage increases — while championing tax cuts for wealthy corporations.
Despite repeated attempts to pay lip service to frontline workers during the pandemic, Ciattarelli has vowed to halt New Jersey’s path to a $15 an hour minimum wage and expressed outrage at the idea of someone “who bags groceries at the local produce shop [being] paid the equivalent of $30,000 a year.”
“Assemblyman Ciattarelli’s message to voters is clear: he’s willing to do anything to benefit himself politically — even if that means turning his back on working families in their time of need,” said Murphy for Governor Spokesman Jerrel Harvey. “New Jerseyans have no interest in going back to an establishment insider who sides with extreme Republicans and failed trickle-down economics over the livelihoods of their families.”