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Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Social Welfare

Number receiving Covid-19 unemployment payment drops again with 64,000 now back to work

€190.2 million worth of payments were issued to 543,200 people today.

THERE ARE 36,200 fewer people receiving the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) this week compared to the same time last week, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has said.

€190.2 million worth of payments were issued to 543,200 people today as part of the PUP scheme, 28,400 of whom have told the department they are returning for work.

It continues the trend which has seen the number of people receiving the payment fall since it was launched on 16 March. 

The €350 per week pandemic payments will be in bank accounts or local post offices by today. 

Over 57,800 employers have also registered for the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS), with at least one subsidy being paid for over 508,100 people under the scheme.

Since phase one of the government’s roadmap for lifting Covid-19 restrictionsaround 64,000 employees are back in work.

Construction has seen the highest number of people back to work in the last week, with 9,900 people returning.

This was followed by wholesale retailers and motorcycle shops, with 4,300 people having returned to work in that sector, while a further 2,800 people have returned to their jobs in the manufacturing sector.

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty said the peak demand for the PUP had now passed.

“If the current progress on the health front holds firm, we will see an incremental drop on the numbers in need of this assistance,” she said.

“However, not everybody will be getting back to work in the first phases of the reopening of our society and, as I confirmed in the Dáil last week, the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will extend beyond the original June end date.”

The government has spent more than €6 billion on social protection support and unemployment payments for workers who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic so far.

Last week, Doherty accepted that the new payment system is not perfect, but rejected claims that people are “gaming” the system following comments by Supermacs CEO Pat McDonagh that the payment was like “winning the lotto” for many part-time workers.

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