THE number of people receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment in the Banner is now down to 4,521.
At its height in early May, it was more than three times this number with 14,664 people receiving it.
At this stage, many companies have resumed operations, although obviously aviation related companies in Clare are still under serious pressure. While the lack of international tourism certainly hit parts of the country hard, most of Clare’s tourism sector seems to have escaped the worst of it, with a boom in staycationers compensating for the lack of foreign visitors.
This week the payments people receive were adjusted, with the top rate falling to €300, while a new rate of €250 was introduced for those whose pre-Covid earnings were between €200 and €300. There is also a lower rate of €203 for those who were earning less than €200 per week.
In its recently launched Resilience and Recovery document, the government stated that there may have to be ongoing adjustments to such supports. “Without a functioning economy, we cannot maintain delivery of public services, we cannot support businesses or keep people in employment, and we cannot assist those who need help getting back on their feet. So we need to find ways to keep our people in work, keep our businesses operating, all while living with the Covid-19 pandemic. Government has already taken an extensive and unprecedented range of measures to support workers and businesses, but it is recognised that a continuously evolving approach will be required.”
At present the scheme is due to continue until next April with “support gradually aligned with existing social welfare rates on a phased basis.”
The document also says, “The Government has now decided that the PUP will remain open to new entrants until end-2020 given the need to continue supporting people through the next phase of the pandemic.”
It adds that “arrangements to waive the three day waiting period for Jobseekers Allowance and Benefit will also be extended until the end of 2020.”