Final decision on duration of Pandemic Unemployment Payment to be made in the coming week
The current expiry date for the payment is 8 June, but indications have already been given that it will be extended.
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said that a decision on the nature and duration of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be made in the coming days.
The payment of €350 a week has been available to to workers who have been laid off, either permanently or temporarily, since the middle of March.
As of Monday (25 May), it was issued to 579,400 people. In total, 681,000 people have received at least one payment since the scheme started.
The initial expiry date for the payment is Monday 8 June and while government has indicated that it will be extended beyond that date, it has been the source of much discussion in recent days amongst politicians and high-profile businessmen such as Pat McDonagh, owner of Supermac’s.
The extension of the payment, both the nature of it and the duration of the extension, was addressed by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe on Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio One on Friday morning.
“We will be making a decision in relation to that (the Pandemic Unemployment Payment) across the coming weeks,” Donohoe said.
“The Taoiseach and I have already indicated our plan to continue the Pandemic Unemployment Payment programme beyond the current expiry date and we’ll be making a decision in relation to that – the duration and nature of the payment – in the coming week or so.”
Asked if the payment will remain at €350 a week for people who had been working full-time before the pandemic hit, Donohoe responded:
“Well, we’ll be in a position to absolutely confirm that in the coming days.
“What I would say to listeners who have that concern is the very reason we increased that payment from €200 to €350 was in recognition of the huge difficulty that so many were facing because of the loss of income and because of the loss of job.”
“And that instinct and that view that guided the increase in the payment of course will be the same instinct that will guide our view in relation to those who were in full-time work and full-time income before they lost their job.”