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Number of people receiving PUP dips below 200,000 for the first time

The overall bill for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment now stands at over €8.3 billion.

Image: Shutterstock/Pla2na

THE NUMBER OF people on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) has fallen below 200,000 for the first time, the lowest it’s been since the scheme was introduced in March 2020.

Recent figures from the Department of Social Protection show that 192,296 people are in receipt of the PUP, down 9,800 since last week.

“To put this into context, there were over 481,000 people relying on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment in early February of this year – the last time the virus reached a peak,” said Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys.

“That number has now fallen by around 60% – clearly demonstrating the progress we are making in re-opening our economy and getting our citizens back to work.”

This week, €54.92 million will be paid in PUP to just over 192,296 people. In the coming weeks, Minister Humphreys is expecting the number of people receiving PUP to fall further with the return of indoor hospitality for the fully vaccinated.

The payment, which is no longer accepting new applicants, is being phased out through reductions in its value from September and is due to be abolished in February 2022 under the government’s economic recovery plan.

Going forward, anyone who loses their job will need to apply for the Jobseeker’s payment. The PUP figures published this week are in addition to the 175,281 people who were on the Live Register at the end of June

Screenshot 2021-07-28 at 10.01.56

Dublin continues to be the county with the highest number of people who are receiving PUP this week at 71,981. It is followed by Cork (17,053) and Galway (10,159).

Accommodation and food service was the sector that saw the largest number of employees close their PUP this week, with just under 3,000 fewer people receiving their payment compared to last week.

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However, it remains the sector with the highest number of people in receipt of the PUP (44,678) – followed by wholesale and retail trade (29,440), and administrative and support service activities (21,457).

The under 25 age group saw the greatest decrease in the past week with 39,144 receiving PUP compared with 42,308 last week. 

Screenshot 2021-07-28 at 10.00.50 Source: DSP

People returning to work in the coming weeks are asked to contact the Department of Social Protection and cancel their payment before they return to the workplace.

If they’re not proactive, they could be taxed on both their salary and their PUP in their first week back on the job.

About the author:

Adam Daly

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