Pandemic Unemployment Payment, or PUP, numbers have shown a significant decline since the start of the pandemic. Certain sectors, like construction and Accommodation and Food services still show a high dependence on PUP supports, but the drop in numbers positively signifies the start of the recovery phase.
Govt set to reduce PUP by €50 from September
The Government looks set to begin reducing the Pandemic Unemployment Payment by €50 a week from September. They will also discuss taking students off the PUP from possibly 7 September as they return to third-level education.
This would mark the beginning of the phasing out of emergency pandemic financial support.
From July, the payment will be closed off to new entrants under plans discussed within Government this evening.
Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys has said the number of people claiming the Pandemic Unemployment Payment for the coming week has dropped to 309,000. She said the figure is now down approximately 100,000 since the economy began to partially reopen, and said it reflected the number of people who have gone back to work.
The vast majority on PUP would be financially better off at work – ESRI
Younger people are more likely to suffer from financial hardship when Covid-19 State supports are ceased, according to new research published by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
In its latest publication, the ESRI also said that the estimated average income loss for households was more than halved as a result of pandemic payments.
The report also stated that not all those with weak financial incentives to work will opt for unemployment or inactivity and that the vast majority of PUP recipients (over 95%) would be financially better off in employment.
Students will not be entitled to pre-existing unemployment supports following the withdrawal of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme later this year, it said.
In April, 34% of PUP recipients aged under 25 were registered as full-time students, and therefore ineligible for State benefits such as the Jobseeker’s Allowance.
Young adults who are not in education are eligible for a Jobseeker’s Allowance rate that is 45% lower than other groups.
ISME: PUP acting as a ‘brake’ on getting workers back
Small and medium Irish employers are warning that the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) is acting as a “significant break”“ on returning workers in certain sectors of the economy and should be “tapered” faster than currently planned.
Neil McDonnell, the CEO of Irish Small and Medium Enterprises (ISME), told an Oireachtas Committee that this is affecting sectors including agriculture, hospitality, beauty services, and accommodation.
Mr. McDonnell said that “significant disincentives” to returning to work exist in the €18,000 – €30,000 income bracket and is a “particular issue” for part-time workers.
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