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Over 350,000 people are on Pandemic Unemployment Payment, costing €103.8m

Some 37,430 people receiving the Covid-19 PUP this week will see an increase in their rate of payment.

Image: Shutterstock/FotoDuets

THE DEPARTMENT OF Social Protection has issued the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) to 350,072 people this week.

There are 7,500 more people on the PUP this week compared to last week, and the cost has increased to €103.8 million, up from €99 million last week.

The sector with the highest number of people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is accommodation and food service activities (102,682) followed by wholesale and retail trade (57,015) and other sectors eg, hairdressers and beauty salons (31,048).

This week’s figures are in addition to the 203,172 unemployed people who are on the Live Register as of the end of October.

All Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payments issued will be in recipients’ bank accounts or at their local post office tomorrow.

Commenting on this week’s figures, Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said:

“While the number of people receiving PUP has increased again this week, it is heartening to see the rate of increase reduce.

“The overall number is also much smaller than during the first period of Level 5 restrictions in March and April.

This reflects the fact that a wider range of sectors have been able to continue trading, such as in construction and manufacturing.

“As Minister for Social Protection, I will continue to ensure that our welfare supports are available to the people who need them most during this difficult time.

Earlier this month, Cabinet approved to extend the 2020 earnings reference for employees to September 2020.

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This means that people who only commenced employment after February 2020 but have now been laid-off due to increased restrictions can have their payment rate fixed by reference to their earnings from January to September.

As a result of this change, some 37,430 people receiving PUP this week will see an increase in their rate of payment. No one will have their weekly rate of payment reduced as a result of this re-assessment of their earnings.

The PUP is paid at four rates (from 2 October):

  • Those with prior gross weekly earnings below €200 will continue to receive a rate of €203 per week.
  • Those with prior gross weekly earnings of €200 to €299.99 will continue to receive €250 per week.
  • Those with prior gross weekly earnings of €300 to €399.99 will continue to receive €300 per week.
  • Those with prior gross weekly earnings of €400 or more will receive a rate of €350 per week.
  • The number of people receiving the maximum rate of €350 this week is 160,115 which represent 46% of the total number receiving PUP with those receiving €300, €250 and €203 representing 18% respectively.

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