Pandemic Unemployment Payment to be phased out from September

Reduction of PUP rates will be staggered across three phases

Under plans being considered, those on the highest rate, €350 per week, will be cut to €300. File photograph: iStock

Under plans being considered, those on the highest rate, €350 per week, will be cut to €300. File photograph: iStock

 

The Government is expected to begin reducing the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) rates in three phases from September.

Ministers were meeting on Monday night to finalise the details of a national economic recovery plan to be announced on Tuesday. It is understood that the PUP could be closed to new entrants as soon as July.

The reduction of PUP rates will be staggered across three phases over the following months from September. Under plans being considered, those on the highest rate, €350 per week, will be cut to €300; while those in receipt of €300 per week will drop to €250. The lowest rate, €250 per week, will come into line with the jobseekers’ allowance of €203.

In the following phase, the €250 rate will also be brought down to €203, while those on €300 will fall to €250. In the final phase, all recipients will be put on €203 per week.

The Emergency Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) is likely to be extended unchanged until the end of September. The commercial rates waiver looks set to be extended through the third quarter, while VAT cuts are likely to remain in place.

Earlier Minister for Community and Rural Development Heather Humphreys said the number of people claiming PUP has dropped to 309,000.

She said the figure is now down approximately 100,000 since the economy began to partially reopen, and said it reflected the number of people who have gone back to work.