Number claiming PUP falls for first time since latest lockdown

Number Claiming Pup Falls For First Time Since Latest Lockdown Number Claiming Pup Falls For First Time Since Latest Lockdown
Heather Humphreys, © PA Media
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Thomson Reuters

The number of people claiming the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) has fallen for the first time since Level 5 restrictions were re-introduced in December.

The number of PUP receipeints fell 0.8 per cent this week, to just under 478,000.

There are still 200,000 more PUP recipients than in December, when most building sites, shops and hospitality facilities shut. The Government has said any reopening from next month will be very gradual.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said the levelling off was encouraging, noting that the highest number of people returning to work were in the construction, manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade sectors.

Meanwhile, PUP and Covid business supports will remain in place for many months to come before they are eventually phased out, the Minister for Public Expenditure has said.

Asked whether the massive increase in spending on Covid measures both this year and last would have to be covered through an increase in taxes, Michael McGrath said he hoped the “bulk of the heavy lifting” will be done through increased spending when hospitality and retail reopens.


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