Numbers on PUP continues to fall
Latest PUP payments reflect winding down of welfare support scheme
There are now less than 1,500 people in receipt of Pandemic Unemployment Payment in Cavan.
The figure, of 1,476, is the latest figure available up to September 14, and shows a decrease of several hundred more over the past week, down from 1,769.
It is a fraction also of the the 7,165 workers in receipt of PUP from a peak recorded on February 9 earlier this year.
By comparison, there are 1,414 people in receipt of PUP in Monaghan, down from 1,728 in a week; 631 in Leitrim, down from 764; and 783 in Longford, down from 899.
There are currently 5,342 persons receiving PUP in Meath as of September 14, down from 6,241 a week ago; and 1,763 in Westmeath, down from 3,975.
There are currently 114,612 persons in receipt of PUP nationally at present, a fall of 25,526 on last week
Overall PUP numbers have now fallen by almost 500,000 since peak in 2020, and the public are still being reminded about Scam Phone Calls and Scam Texts from callers claiming to be from the Department of Social Protection.
The greatest reduction in PUP figures this week is in the Accommodation and Food Services sector.
The PUP figures published this week are in addition to the 179,761 people who were on the Live Register at the end of August.
Commenting, Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said that throughout the summer months, Ireland has seen a continuous steady decrease in the number of people relying on PUP.
“The economy is now substantially reopened and it is really encouraging to see businesses actively advertising for and hiring new staff,” she said, adding that through the Pathways to Work strategy the government want to support people through training, further education and reskilling opportunities to get back to work.
“The Pandemic Unemployment Payment has proven to be one of the most important supports in our country’s history. In fact, since the introduction of the PUP in March 2020, almost one million people have been supported under the scheme at one stage or another.
“The PUP was always a temporary emergency support and as the emergency phase of the pandemic has now passed, it is the right time to start the process of winding the payment down.”
In line with the Government’s Economic Recovery Plan, the PUP is gradually being reduced on a tapered basis over a 6 month period from September 2021 until February 2022 to align it with the standard jobseekers payments.
The maximum weekly rate of €350 is now reduced to €300. The €300 rate is reduced to €250 and the rate of €250 has reduced to €203. These new payment rates were reflected in the payments received yesterday, Tuesday, September 14.
The tapering of the PUP is now happening in a gradual, phased manner between now and next February, and the minister says its important that businesses continue to avail of the supports available through the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme in order to help them rehire staff.
“In particular I would encourage those working in the music and entertainment industry to utilise the Music and Entertainment Assistance Scheme (MEBAS) which remains opens for applications. I know that the Music and Entertainment Association of Ireland (MEAI) are doing a lot of work to promote this particular support and I would strongly encourage people to make an application to ensure they don’t miss out.”
The Department continues to remind workers who are returning to work that they must close their claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment on the actual date that they start back at work, in order to ensure that their claim is processed correctly and to avoid incurring an overpayment that the Department will take steps to recover.
The Department meanwhile is running post payment checks verifying PUP data against Revenue records, examining cases where the same Bank account is used multiple times, examining cases where an employer or members of the public report concerns, and the use of data analytics to identify and check claims.
This work is undertaken by the Department’s Special Investigation Unit, which includes over 20 Gardaí on secondment to the Department.
Customers and members of the public are furthermore being reminded about scam phone calls and text messages they may receive from individuals claiming to be an official of the Department.
These calls and texts display a range of numbers, including some which may appear to be from the Department’s phone numbers. The Department would like to remind all its customers that it will never seek personal information from customers via text message and will never ask a customer for their bank details over the phone.
Any person who receives such a call or text is asked not to disclose any information and to report it to the Gardaí immediately.