Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.32 18 May 2020


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More than €200m is being paid out to 585,000 people as part of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

New figures from the Department of Social Protection show around 7,000 people are receiving a payment for the first time.

This is a reduction of 5,000 on the number of people paid at the same point last week.

There are now over 54,000 employers who have registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) - with at least one subsidy being paid in respect of over 464,000 people under that scheme.

The payments are in addition to the 214,700 people who were reported on the Live Register at the end of April.

The department says all PUPs will be in recipients’ bank accounts or at their local post office on Tuesday.

It comes as the first phase of a partial re-opening of the country gets underway.

Outdoor workers - including constructions workers, landscapers and gardeners - are returning to work with hardware stores, DIY shops and garden centres re-opening their doors.

Car and bike repair shops are also re-opening, alongside IT and phone shops, office suppliers, electrical stores and a number of others.

Unemployment payment Source: Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection

Taking this into account, the department is advising workers who may be returning to work to close their claim for the PUP, to make sure that they will not lose out in getting their payment for the previous week - that payment is due to be paid on Tuesday.

Similarly, workers who will be returning to work any time after Monday must close their claim for the PUP payment on the actual date that they start back at work.

This can be done on the department's website -  while any worker with an enquiry about closing their claim can contact the a dedicated income support helpline at 1890-800-024.

This is open Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm.

The department has also begun a public information campaign to inform workers who may be returning to work on when and how to close their claim for this payment.

Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty today said: "As an emergency response, [the PUP] has successfully allowed us to prevent a health and economic emergency from turning into a social crisis.

"It is also very unlikely that we would have had the high level of public compliance with the health restrictions introduced to tackle the virus without the relief provided by the payments.

"Today, Ireland takes the very first tentative steps back towards normality - or the new normal whatever that may look like.

"While today’s figures confirm that we have reached the peak in terms of those receiving Pandemic Unemployment Payments, I would expect over the coming weeks for those numbers to continue to gradually drop as more and more people return to work."

Main image: The Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty at Government Buildings in Dublin, 24-03-2020. Picture by: Sam Boal/RollingNews

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