Pandemic unemployment scheme to continue until next April

Pandemic unemployment scheme to continue until next April
The pandemic unemployment payment will continue until April 2021. 

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.

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.

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