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Tánaiste indicates PUP may not be cut in February if pandemic doesn't improve

The PUP is set to be cut again in February with the rate of payment due to be reduced from €250 to €203.

Image: RollingNews.ie

TÁNAISTE LEO VARADKAR has said the Government is not committed to cutting the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) early next year. 

The PUP is due to be cut again in February with the rate of payment due to be reduced from €250 to €203 for people who previously earned between €200 and €300 per week.

The rate of payment is due to be reduced from €300 to €250 for people who previously earned over €300 per week.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Varadkar said Budget 2021 provides finance for the February deadline to be moved “if the pandemic isn’t in a much better place by then.”

“We’ll make further judgements as we go long, things are so unprecedented we’ve had to make big decision every six weeks,” he said. 

The PUP is due to end on 1 April 2021. People getting the payment will have to apply for a jobseeker’s payment if they have not found work by that date.

Asked yesterday whether the PUP could be expended beyond this time, Social Protection Minister Humphreys said there is “no crystal ball” in the pandemic. 

She said the payment will be reviewed in January and the government will weigh up whether people are still out of work. 

As part of Budget 2021, a new scheme for businesses most impacted by the pandemic, such as pubs and hotels is being put in place. 

The scheme, which will operate when Level 3 or higher of the Covid roadmap is in place, will see businesses receive weekly payments of up to €5,000 if they are forced to close or effectively close because of prohibited or restricted assess by customers.

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The rebates will be based on average 2019 weekly turnover, and will be paid in addition to the Employment Wages Subsidy Scheme (EWSS). 

Those who meet the criteria have been urged to contact the Revenue Commissioners as soon as possible, and it’s expected the first cash payments will be made by mid-November.

Varadkar said today that business can apply for the scheme from next week with the first payments due in November. 

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