Numbers claiming wage subsidy falls as PUP recipients rise

Numbers Claiming Wage Subsidy Falls As Pup Recipients Rise
13/10/2020 Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe TD arriving at Government Buildings for their joint press conference for Budget 2021.Pic Gareth Chaney /Collins Photos Dublin.
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Muireann Duffy

Almost €80 million has been spent on the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) so far this month.

According to an update on current Government support schemes, 19,200 employers had received funds under the scheme on behalf of 170,800 workers.

These figures reflect the country’s move to Level 5 restrictions on October 21st, with the number of people availing of the EWSS failing since last month while the numbers claiming the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) has increased.

At the end of October, 35,400 employers had claimed under the EWSS on behalf of 345,400 workers, while 295,860 people were in receipt of the PUP.

On November 10th the number of people claiming the PUP jumped to 342,505 as non-essential retailers were forced to close under tightened restrictions and workers in other sectors were asked to work from home where possible.

Lockdown return


Despite the return to lockdown measures, the November PUP figures have not reached the highs of 598,000 recorded in early May.

Leitrim recorded the lowest amount of people in receipt of the PUP with just 1,968 while Dublin had the highest number, with 111,588.

Understandably, the worst hit sectors according to the November 10th data in terms of workers availing of the PUP were accommodation and food services, wholesale and retail, and hairdressers and beauty salons.

The Department of Finance has also noted a strong uptake in the number of people availing of the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) which aims to support businesses impacted by the pandemic.

Since the scheme was launched in mid-October, 6,100 businesses have registered 6,400 premises while 1,800 additional applications are now being processed by Revenue.

'Unprecedented scale of intervention'

Commenting on the latest figures, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said: I would like to acknowledge and thank employers for the continued support they have shown to their employees and remind them of the considerable package of measures that the Government have put in place to support businesses at this time.

“The total amount of payments made to date via wage subsidies now standing at over €3.5 billion - an unprecedented scale of intervention to match these unprecedented times.”

“The Revenue Commissioners are continuing to process applications for the CRSS for businesses significantly impacted by public health restrictions. It is expected that payments under the scheme will be made by the end of next week. These will be back-dated to October 13th for businesses who met the conditions of the scheme at that time,” Mr Donohoe added.

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