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Thursday 30 November 2023 Dublin: 3°C
income support

Top Pandemic Unemployment Payment rates cut by €50 from today

The process of moving some PUP recipients to jobseeker’s payments has been deferred until late October.

PEOPLE RECEIVING THE Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) will notice the first reductions to the scheme in their pockets from today.

The top two rates of the PUP were reduced by €50 from last Tuesday after being closed to new entrants in July in line with the Government’s plan to phase out the scheme altogether from February 2022. 

Meanwhile, the Government’s plan to move some PUP recipients to standard jobseekers’ payments has been pushed back by a month from the end of September to late October. 

Today’s initial reductions mean anyone currently receiving the €350 per week payment will see their payment reduced to €300 today.

Anyone receiving the payment at the €300 per week rate will now receive €250.

Meanwhile, anyone receiving the payment at the €250 per week rate will now receive €203 per week, the standard jobseeker’s rate.

From late October, anyone on the €203 rate will be moved to the jobseekers’ payment.

This process was originally scheduled to begin from the end of September. However, the government confirmed last week that no one will be moved from the PUP to jobseekers’ before October 22.

In a statement last Tuesday, the Department of Social Protection said the process was “deferred until after all sectors have started to reopen in line with the ‘Roadmap’ announced on Tuesday 31 August”.

That decision followed criticism of the Government’s plan from trade unions and people working in the live events and entertainment sector, many of whom are self-employed and who would have lost their right under the PUP to earn up to €960 over a two-month period without losing their benefit.

It means that anyone still on the €203 rate by 22 October — when limits on numbers attending indoor and outdoor events will be lifted — will continue to receive the PUP until 26 October.

“Work on the transition process will commence at the end of September when the department will write to all affected customers to outline the options available to them,” the department said.

Last week, just over 140,000 people received the PUP, a decline of 3,468 from the previous week.

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.

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