Pandemic Unemployment payments down 80% on 2020 high MMH
The number of Donegal people who are still in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) is now just 14% of what it was at its height of the pandemic in May of 2020, a reduction of 86%.
And the figure is also just 80% lower then its 2021 peak of over 16,000 in February.
This means there are now just 3,240 people in Donegal in receipt of the emergency payment, the lowest it has been since the introduction of the scheme back in March of 2020.
This is a further reduction of 862 on last week’s figure which stood of 4,102.
Seven months ago, on February 9, the figure stood at a yearly high of 16,421 and at its height during the first phase of the pandemic last year, that figure was 22,594 recipients.
In line with the Government’s Economic Recovery Plan, the PUP is gradually being reduced on a tapered basis over a six-month period from September 2021 until February 2022 to align it with the standard jobseekers payments.
The maximum weekly rate of €350 is now reduced to €300. The €300 rate is reduced to €250 and the rate of €250 has reduced to €203. These new payment rates were reflected in the payments received on Tuesday of this week. The process of moving from the lower €203 rate of PUP to a jobseeker’s payment was due to begin in early September.
This has now been deferred until after all sectors have started to re-open in line with the Roadmap announced at the end of August
All affected customers will continue to receive their PUP payment until October26 when the process of their transition to a jobseeker’s payment will begin.
Work on the transition process will commence at the end of September when the Department will write to all affected customers to outline the options available to them. Two further phases of rate changes are scheduled to take place from November 16 2021 and February 8, 2022.
As PUP recipients go on to the €203 rate in each phase, they will be transitioned to standard jobseeker terms.
Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said: “The economy is now substantially reopened and it is really encouraging to see businesses actively advertising for and hiring new staff. “
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