Budget 2021: Changes to PUP brings little comfort to recipients

ireland
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Press Association
A Dublin man left unemployed because of Covid-19 said the changes to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is of “little benefit” to him.

David O’Farrell was working for Gas Networks Ireland on an internship programme when he was told his contract would not be renewed in September.

The 35-year-old has since received the €203 a week rate because he had worked part-time last year after returning to college to do a data analytics course.

It was announced in Budget 2021 that the Christmas bonus will be given this year to people on a welfare payment for four months up to December, which includes those receiving the PUP.

Mr O’Farrell believes he will fall short of the four-month mark and will not be eligible for the payment.

Last month, the €350 a week payments dropped to between €200 to €300.

Mr O’Farrell said the Government should have restored the full amount as Covid-19 restrictions are still in place across the country.

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“I am not seeing a lot that will actually be of big benefit to me – there’s nothing about changing the rules of rate assessments as I should be on the higher rate,” Mr O’Farrell added.

“I won’t be eligible for the the Christmas bonus as you have to be on it for four months and I’ve only been on it since September so I don’t think I will make the four month mark before then.

“I am not really seeing a lot that will be of benefit to me.

“I think restoring the full amount to the €350 a month while the restrictions are still ongoing would have helped a lot of people.

“There are many people who are going to fall through the cracks. They could change the Christmas bonus to everyone who is unemployed and that would make a small difference.”

Further coverage on Budget 2021:Full details of an 'unprecedented' €17bn budget to support business, jobs and health Key points at a glanceReaction from the Opposition, business and industryWhat this year's budget means for the average worker

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