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Nearly 300,000 people now in receipt of the PUP as €350 rate returns

Heather Humphreys said this rise reflects the “economic impact” of moving to Level 5.

Image: Shutterstock/Vladyslav Starozhylov

ALMOST 300,000 PEOPLE are now in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), and the top-tier rate of €350 per week is back in place. 

295,860 people received the payment this week, an increase of 51,700 on last week.  

Level 5 restrictions kicked in across the country at midnight last Wednesday, resulting in the closure of many non-essential businesses.

Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys said the figures this week “reflect the economic impact of the decision to move to Level 5″.

“I know this has been a really difficult few days, particularly for those who have temporarily lost their jobs or whose businesses have had to close. I know that people are worried about the next few weeks,” she said. 

“But I also know that we have it in us to suppress this virus and protect lives.”

Last week saw a rise of just over 15,000 people in receipt of the payment.

€85.6 million was paid out by the Department of Social Protection to people in receipt of the PUP today, an increase of €20 million on the amount paid last week. 

The sector with the highest number of people in receipt of the payment is accommodation and food service with more than 90,000 people. 

This week’s PUP figures are in addition to more than 211,000 people on the live register as of the end of September. 

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The highest rate of the PUP was restored to €350 from today’s payments onwards for those who earned more than €400 per week prior to the pandemic. 

The rates below that are €300, €250 and €203 per week. 

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