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Pandemic payments to continue until August, with reduced PUP for part-time workers from 29 June

It follows a cabinet meeting today.

Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

MINISTER FOR FINANCE Paschal Donohoe has confirmed the government’s wage subsidy scheme has been extended until the end of August. 

The pandemic unemployment payment has also been extended into August, but it will be a two-tier payment from 29 June, Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty said.

It means that for people who became unemployed through Covid-19 whose prior employment earnings were €200 per week or higher, they will stay on the €350 a week. The government said that 75% of recipients up to now would qualify for this. 

For those who were on less than €199.99 a week prior to the crisis, they will  be given €203 a week – the same rate of payment on jobseekers’ allowance. 

The availability of the pandemic unemployment payment will extend from 9 June to at least Phase Five of the roadmap to re-opening which is currently scheduled to begin on 10 August. 

Wage subsidy scheme

On the wage subsidy scheme, Donohoe said that the scheme has paid out €1.39 billion so far, supporting over half a million employees who have received at least one payment.

He said that he’d always been clear that this support “cannot last forever” but he was satisfied with a decision for now “to continue the scheme until the end of August”. 

The minister said he believes there will be a decline in reliance on the scheme as more business sectors begin to operate again as Ireland goes through the re-opening phases. 

“It’s critical we continue to provide support to otherwise viable firms during this period,” he told reporters today. 

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Confirmation of the next phase of the lifting of coronavirus restrictions is expected later today. 

The Taoiseach will lead a press briefing later this afternoon and provide further details. 

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Sean Murray

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