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Number of people receiving PUP drops over 25,000 since last week

It’s the least amount of people on the payment since the scheme was introduced in March 2020.

Image: Shutterstock/rafastockbr

THE NUMBER OF people receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) has fallen by over 25,000 since last week.

A total of 114,600 people received the payment this week, the lowest number since the scheme was introduced in March 2020.

The greatest reduction this week came in the Accommodation and Food Services sector.

Cuts of €50 to the three PUP rates came into effect this week, seeing the rates fall to €300, €250 and €203 respectively.

From late October, anyone on the €203 rate, the standard jobseeker’s rate, will be moved to the jobseekers’ payment and will have to demonstrate that they were seeking work or doing training.

Two further PUP rate reductions are slated for 16 November and 8 February ahead of the scheme’s expected closure at the end of February 2022.

“The number of people in receipt of the PUP has now fallen by almost 500,000 since the peak in mid-2020,” Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said. 

The economy is now substantially reopened and it is really encouraging to see businesses actively advertising for and hiring new staff.

“Through the Government’s Pathways to Work strategy we want to support people through training, further education and reskilling opportunities to give them the tools and most importantly the confidence to get back to work,” Minister Humphreys said.

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At its peak in May of last year, the payment sustained as many as 605,000 people across numerous sectors of the economy. 

Minister Humphreys said the payment has proven to be “one of the most important supports in our country’s history”.

The PUP figures published this week are in addition to the 179,761 people who were on the Live Register at the end of August.

About the author:

Céimin Burke

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