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Numbers on pandemic unemployment payment fall by almost 50 pc since peak in May

Numbers on pandemic unemployment payments down by almost 100,000 in two weeks

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Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said she was "very pleased" with the figures (Julien Behal/PA)

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said she was "very pleased" with the figures (Julien Behal/PA)

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said she was "very pleased" with the figures (Julien Behal/PA)

The number of people receiving the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) has dropped by almost 100,000 in the last two weeks.

The last seven days have seen a fall of 31,800 as more people return to work but there will still be €97m in PUP payments for people that lost their jobs during the crisis made tomorrow.

The Irish Independent today reported that there are proposals to cut the €350-a-week top rate of payment by €50 from autumn.

The PUP is being extended beyond the current expiry date of August 10 and ministers have promised no "cliff-edge" reduction.

It will be gradually reduced from the autumn to be brought down to the standard jobseekers' rate of €230-a-week by next summer.

A total of 313,800 will receive the PUP this week.

The majority - 226,300 will get the top rate of €350-a-week.

Some 87,500 people will get the lower €203-a-week rate for people who were paid less than €200-a-week in their former jobs.

Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys said: "This week’s figures show that increasing numbers of people are returning to work as businesses large and small throughout the entire country emerge from the Covid-19 health crisis."

She said she will be announcing initiatives under the Government’s July Stimulus package "aimed specifically at enabling people to move back into employment."

Ms Humphreys said a "key element of the package will be enhancing the supports available to people who have lost employment during this pandemic to assist them back into work as quickly as possible."

Ms Humphreys added: "While I am very pleased with the weekly statistics on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment showing that more people are continuing to return to work, I would like to give a word of caution.

"It is absolutely critical that we heed the advice of the National Public Health Emergency Team as everyone is eager to move ahead.

"Now is not the time to become complacent and we must continue to follow the advice."

Today, Monday July 20, is the final deadline for PUP recipients to confirm their eligibility which can be done online on www.MyWelfare.ie.

Any person who experiences difficulty in doing this should contact the helpline 1890 800 024, which is open until 5pm.

Online Editors