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16th Nov 2021

No plans to restore full pandemic unemployment payment, says Taoiseach

Dave Hanratty

Pandemic Unemployment Payment Ireland November 2021

The PUP is set to be reduced this week.

Prior to formally unveiling the latest round of Covid-19 restrictions on Tuesday evening, Taoiseach Micheál Martin stated that there are currently no plans to restore the Pandemic Unemployment Payment to its previous top-line amount.

The PUP will be reduced this week, in line with a previous Government plan of gradually phasing the measure out entirely.

Those who are currently on €300 per week will have their payments reduced to €250, and those who had been receiving €250 will now receive €203.

Anyone under €203 will no longer be on the PUP, and will receive the standard jobseekers allowance instead.

At its peak, there were 602,100 people receiving the PUP in May of 2020.

There are now 74,752 people availing of the PUP, according to numbers released by the government last week.

Before the Taoiseach addressed the nation on Tuesday evening, many voices within the hospitality and nightlife industry rose up to demand full restoration of financial supports, including the PUP.

However, that does not appear to be on the cards.

Speaking during Leaders’ Questions in Dáil Éireann on Tuesday afternoon, Taoiseach Martin stated that there are no plans at present to restore the PUP or to delay its scheduled reduction.

Martin, who has repeatedly pointed to the “bounce-back” of the Irish economy in recent weeks, pointed to an apparent high number of job vacancies yet to be filled across the country.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday evening, Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys reiterated that the PUP will not be restored and that social welfare and “a range of supports” are in places to help individuals in need.

Speaking on RTÉ News: Six One, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald added her voice to the growing support for potential restoration of pandemic financial supports, noting that the Government should rethink its decision.

The full list of new Covid restrictions is available here.