The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme will be extended until next year.
They are probably the two best-known supports that have been put in place on foot of the crisis and are one of the stickiest sticking points for the government in terms of how to re-ignite the economy and when to phase them out.
The PUP will now be extended to the beginning of April 2021 at an additional cost for that seven-month period of €2.2 billion, roughly €380 million more than the standard Jobseekers’ support would cost over the same timeframe.
The scheme will, however, close to new applicants from mid-September, and from that date will be paid in three bands: €300 weekly for those who earned more than €300 prior to the pandemic, €250 for those who brought in €200-€300, and the standard weekly payment of €203 for those who earned less than that.
2 Helping People Especially young people, get back to work— MerrionStreet.ie (@merrionstreet) July 23, 2020
- Extension of Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) to 1st April 2021
- €200m investment in training, skills development, work placement schemes, recruitment subsidies, and job search and assistance#JobsStimulus pic.twitter.com/ho9pvxQbJA
Those rates are set to fall incrementally, however.
From February, those who earned between €200 and €300 will see their payment drop to the standard weekly figure of €203, with those who earned more than €300 receiving €250. Then, from 1 April, the scheme will end and all payments will be at the €203 level.
The unemployment payment scheme had initially been due to close on August 10. However significant concerns as to the cliff-edge nature of such a termination have led to its extension.
At the height of lockdown, some 580,000 people were accessing the support payment - that figure has now dropped to 314,000, with 100,000 people returning to work over the past fortnight.