Some 35,000 people who had been receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment returned to work last week as the first phase of the country's plan to reopen its economy began.
Assistant Secretary General at the Department of Taoiseach Liz Canavan said that while 579,000 people remain on the €350 per-week payment introduced at the beginning of the outbreak, 35,900 returned to work in the last week.
The weekly cost of the scheme is around €202 million, Ms Canavan added. A further 482,000 employees are in receipt of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, with 56,000 employers taking advantage of the programme. The total cost of that scheme thus far has been €1.15 billion.
Ms Canavan said that the payment is a taxable source of income, though not at time of receipt. She said that Revenue will do an end of year assessment of every person in the country as normal and this may see some people having paid too little tax for the year. Ms Canavan that this would be repaid in "manageable amounts" with a lowering of tax credits.
Ms Canavan said that there had been "much speculation" about whether Ireland could either halve its social distancing requirements or move through the phased road map quicker than anticipated.
She said that such decisions were a "risk-based approach" and said that two metres physical distancing was NPHET advice and was there to save lives.
Ms Canavan added that any changes to the road map would be "slow and incremental", adding that "we cannot go too far, too fast".