Decision coming soon on Covid-19 unemployment payment says Paschal Donohoe

Decision coming soon on Covid-19 unemployment payment says Paschal Donohoe
Minister Donohoe said the government did not want to discriminate against women returning to work after maternity leave and that officials were addressing these concerns. Picture: Rollingnews.ie

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said the government will shortly decide on how long the pandemic unemployment payment will continue for and at what level.

Mr Donohoe said he did not want the government to discriminate against women returning to work after maternity leave and that officials were addressing these concerns.

He also welcomed a commitment by France and Germany for a €500bn European recovery fund and said this would help support employment here and rebuild the Irish economy.

This followed a meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council and finance ministers earlier today.

Asked about plans to extend the Covid-19 €350 unemployment payment beyond June, Mr Donohoe said he knew the money was "important" for families and that the government was looking at the period and what amounts would be paid.

“They will continue for a period of time. But we just have to decide over what period and at what level. We are simply a few days into the reopening of the economy and we just need some information about how the affects the numbers on the wage subsidy scheme and the number of people who are availing of the PUP (pandemic unemployment payment).

I would hope we will have more data available on those issues soon and then we will be able to make an announcement soon regarding the value of these payments and what is going to happen to them.

Figures released on Monday show that 585,000 people who were unemployed last week will this week receive their weekly payment of €350 under the COVID-19 pandemic unemployment payments scheme.

Furthermore, almost a billion euro has been paid to subsidise wages benefiting nearly half a million workers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told his Fine Gael party meeting on Monday night that the unemployment payment would "absolutely2 be extended next month.

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