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Decision due soon on extending Covid-19 unemployment payment, says minister

As people return back to work, the minister said he will look at the data on the number of claims.

Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

AN ANNOUNCEMENT WILL be made soon on whether the €350 weekly Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) will continue in its current form.

Speaking at Government buildings today, he said:

“We know these payments are important and they will continue for a period of time, but we just have to decide over what period and at what level.

“We are only a few days into the reopening of the economy and we just need some information to become available to us as to how the reopening of the economy affects people on the wage subsidy scheme and the number of people availing of the PUP.

“We hope to have more data available to make a decision about those two issues soon and we will then make an announcement regarding the value of these payments and what is going to happen them.”

Earlier this month, the minister said the PUP will continue beyond its original end date but that the level of the payment may change.

The PUP provides €350 per week to someone who has lost their job as a result of Covid-19 while the Temporary Wage Subsidy scheme provides money to an employer to keep a worker on the payroll.

Both supports were implemented in mid-March and expire in the middle of next month.

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Donohoe said both would be continuing beyond this date “in some form”.

The minister said today that he had not yet made an announcement on the payments as he wants to consult first with Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty.

When he gets more information on the number of claims he will be in position to make announcement, said the minister.

He accepted and understood the need for clarity on the issue, stating that he will be making a decision “soon”.

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