Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.32 7 Sep 2021


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The Government will begin reducing Pandemic Unemployment Payment rates after today.

From next week, recipients will receive smaller PUP payments, with the rates cut by €50.

The maximum weekly rate of €350 will fall to €300, with further cuts set to happen in November and February.

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Around 28,000 students are also receiving their final payment under the scheme today.

There are currently around 140,000 people receiving the PUP, with €41.4 million being spent by the State on the scheme this week alone.

It's been confirmed that nobody receiving the PUP will be transitioned to a jobseeker's payment until after October 22nd, when the majority of remaining restrictions are due to be eased.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said: “I am acutely aware that some sectors of the economy are re-opening slower than others.

“That’s why as Minister, I have deferred the transition of workers from the PUP to jobseeker’s benefit until after 22nd October.

“In practical terms, this will mean that any self-employed person on the €203 PUP rate will continue to be able to avail of €960 without being impacted."

She added it's something people in the entertainment sector have been calling for.

The PUP is set to be phased out entirely by February.

Someone on the €350 rate (currently the highest rate) will drop to €300 from next week; then drop to €250 in November; and finally to €203 in February.

The final rate of €203 will be the same as the maximum Jobseeker’s Allowance weekly rate.

People on lower PUP rates, meanwhile, will reach the bottom rate sooner than those who've been receiving the full rate.

It means from next week there'll be three rates of PUP - €300, €250 and €203.

While the intention is to move everyone to the main jobseeker's payments over time, that won't happen until after October 22nd.

Main image: Heather Humphreys. Picture by Julien Behal Photography

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