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PUP likely to be phased out over several months starting in September or October

The Pandemic Unemployment Payment is likely to be phased out starting in September or October. Ca...
Sean Defoe
Sean Defoe

12.51 31 May 2021


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PUP likely to be phased out ov...

PUP likely to be phased out over several months starting in September or October

Sean Defoe
Sean Defoe

12.51 31 May 2021


Share this article


The Pandemic Unemployment Payment is likely to be phased out starting in September or October.

Cabinet Ministers will meet tomorrow to sign off on the National Economic Plan for recovery post-COVID.

It means tricky political decisions need to be made over the next few days about how the emergency supports for people and businesses are unwound over the next year.

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It's expected the Government will phase out the PUP over a number of months into early next year, starting in September or October.

Speaking to Midwest Radio today, Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys said: "The PUP has been really, really beneficial in terms of supporting people.

"There is a Cabinet meeting tomorrow, and I will be bringing proposals to Cabinet.

"I don't want to speculate today, as speculation is unhelpful."

Part of the thinking in Government circles is that people losing their jobs later this year won't be losing them due to the pandemic.

However, there's expected to be a push from some in Government to increase the base rates of social welfare payments like Jobseekers' allowances.

It's also likely the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) will be kept on longer than the PUP as businesses get back on their feet.

The plan due to be approved by Cabinet tomorrow will also set out targets for getting people back to work over the next few years, and for increasing employment to pre-pandemic levels.

Currently, the PUP rate varies from €203 to €350 per week, depending on a claimant’s previous earnings.

Latest figures showed almost 334,000 people received the payment last week.

There have been calls for the Government to put in place incentives to encourage employers to take back on their staff or for staff to go back to work, particularly as the hospitality sector begins to reopen.

Additional reporting by Stephen McNeice
Main image: (l to r) Ministers Michael McGrath, Paschal Donohoe and Heather Humphreys. Picture: Julien Behal Photography

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