Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

20.05 21 Sep 2020


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The Government will look at potential changes to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment for the sectors worst hit by restrictions, the Housing Minister has said.

It follows calls for the Government to restore the full PUP of €350, after Dublin moved to level three restrictions last week.

Under the restrictions, indoor dining is not allowed in restaurants and cafés, while cultural institutions such as galleries, museums, theatres and cinemas have again had to close their doors.

Dublin's 'wet pubs' also remain closed for now, despite pubs elsewhere in the country reopening from today.

The arts, hospitality and aviation sectors are now looking for greater supports, while Labour and Sinn Féin are among the parties calling for a return to the €350 rate for affected workers.

Speaking on The Hard Shoulder, Minister Darragh O'Brien says the issue is likely to be discussed by ministers tomorrow.

Government will consider PUP changes for sectors badly affected by restrictions - O'Brien

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He said: "The Taoiseach said on the weekend that particularly in areas in sectors that had been really badly affected - if you take our hospitality sector, catering and travel - it would be reviewed to maybe have a more focused approach in relation to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

"The State is intervening in a big way in relation to the Wage Subsidy Scheme, and the PUP payments as well. And rightly so.

"We've got to try to keep people working, or support them if they can't. Tomorrow morning we have Cabinet - I'm sure it will be discussed at that."

He added that the Taoiseach has been clear that he will be asking the Ministers for Finance and Public Expenditure to review the situation.

The PUP was originally available to all workers who were unemployed as a result of the pandemic at a rate of €350 per week.

There are now three rates - €300 for people who were earning over €300 per week; €250 for those earning €200-300; and €203 for those earning less than €200.

Main image: File photo of Darragh O'Brien. Picture by: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

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Darragh O'Brien Housing Minister PUP Pandemic Unemployment Payment

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