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Self-employed people to be allowed claim Covid-19 welfare payment while earning through work

The measure was announced as part of Budget 2021 today.

Taxi drivers will be among those affected by the measure (file photo)
Taxi drivers will be among those affected by the measure (file photo)
Image: RollingNews.ie

SELF-EMPLOYED WORKERS will be allowed to claim the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) while still earning money through work, the Government has confirmed.

The measure was announced as part of Budget 2021, and will let self-employed workers continue earning up to €480 per month – or €120 a week - without losing access to the Covid-19 welfare payment.

It is designed to help those employed in sectors impacted hard by the pandemic and where the availability of work may be dependent on the level of Covid-19 restrictions in place.

It is hoped the payment will allow self-employed people in affected sectors to take up occasional intermittent work without losing their entitlement to the PUP.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath told TheJournal.ie that this is expected to kick in “very quickly”.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed to TheJournal.ie a number of weeks ago that the PUP system was being reviewed by Government to target the sectors of the economy worst hit by the pandemic.

Micheál Martin said the Government was looking at how to use the social welfare system “creatively”.

It is one of a number of supports for unemployed people announced by McGrath today.

The ministers also announced that most recipients of the PUP will be able to receive a Christmas bonus.

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The PUP is available to employees and the self-employed who lost their job on or after 13 March due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  

The Department of Social Protection announced yesterday that almost 230,000 people are now in receipt of the welfare payment.

The number increased by more than 10% on the previous week, following the implementation of Level 3 measures in 24 counties at midnight last Tuesday.

Minister for Finance said that 320,000 jobs had been lost this year, but said the Government expected around 155,000 of these to recover in 2021.

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