State owed €19m in PUP overpayments

ireland
State Owed €19M In Pup Overpayments State Owed €19M In Pup Overpayments
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The State is owed around €19 million in Pandemic Unemployment Payments (PUP) that were incorrectly distributed.

There have been about 15,000 overpayments of the PUP to people who claimed money they were not entitled to.

The overpayments amount to €29 million, with just €10 million repaid to date according to the Department of Social Protection.

The Department said all cases of suspected fraud are investigated by its special investigation unit, which includes 21 gardaí.

However, UCC economist Brian Turner said the overpayments will not have a big impact on the State's overall finances.

“To put it into perspective, over €9 billion has been paid out in Pandemic Unemployment Payments at this stage, so for €19 million to remain outstanding, while it is a lot of money, it’s about 0.2 per cent of what’s being paid out,” he told Newstalk radio.

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“So I wouldn’t see it as a huge concern, particularly given that steps are being taken to recoup any overpayments on an ongoing basis.”

The PUP was first introduced in March 2020, and remains capped at €350 per week for those who have lost their jobs in hospitality due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Some 872,000 people have received at least one payment under the scheme, while 58,000 have had their claims refused. Claims have also been withdrawn from about 141,000 people.

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