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Over 220,000 people receive PUP as payment closes to new applicants tomorrow

Under 25s are the age group with the largest number of PUP recipients.

Image: Shutterstock

OVER 220,000 PEOPLE are receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) today, a decrease of nearly 7,000 since last week.

The number of recipients has fallen by 6,894 to 221,088.

After a series of extensions, the payment is closing to new applicants from tomorrow.

The payment will continue for current recipients and stop on a phased basis, but will no longer accept new applications.

If a person loses their job from 8 July onwards, they will instead need to apply for the Jobseeker’s payment.

Current recipients need to reconfirm their eligibility for the payment by 20 July through the MyWelfare website.

The sector with the highest number of people receiving PUP is Accommodation and Food Service Activities – 54,518 – followed by Wholesale and Retail Trade with 33,610 recipients and Administrative and support service activities with 23,824.

In Dublin, 80,789 people are collecting the payment this week, the highest of any county.

This is followed by Cork (19,925) and Galway (11,805).

Under 25s represent the largest age group of PUP recipients (50,437), followed closely by 25 to 34s (49,188).

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said that “despite the decision to defer the re-opening of indoor hospitality, the number of people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) has fallen again this week”.

“On top of the decrease in numbers, a further 8,000 people closed their PUP claims in the past seven days. This will be reflected in next week’s figures,” the minister said.

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“Although we must remain cautious as a result of the Delta variant, we have real grounds to be positive and optimistic,” she said.

“There are now over 50% of our adult population fully vaccinated. And we are also seeing a significant interest among our younger population in terms of receiving a vaccine from their local pharmacy.”

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar previously said that the government expects the number of PUP recipients to drop to around 100,000 to 130,000 by the end of 2021.

The payment 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.

The decision to close the payment to new applicants was criticised by the opposition, with Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty saying that it was “pulling the rug out from under people who are restricted from going back to work as a result of government decisions and who will continue to be restricted”.

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