AFTER consistently falling for months the number of Clare people on the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment have increased this week.
The figures rose to 4,512 on September 29, compared to 4,449 a week earlier. This rise came despite 174 people in the county stopping receipt of the payment due to returning to work, meaning that another 237 people began receiving it.
The Government have said that the numbers receiving the payment are likely to rise when a region goes into Level 3, but obviously Clare has not, nor have any of the counties around it.
Nationally the numbers on the payment have also risen and Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said that it shows that Covid-19 is a persistent threat. “These statistics are a reminder to us all that we cannot become complacent. We’ve come too far to let our guard down now.
“The next couple of weeks are crucial. If people follow the advice of NPHET, reduce their contacts and maintain social distancing, we can suppress this virus, protect jobs and most importantly of all, protect lives.”
In a statement on Monday, the Department of Social Protection outlined the picture across the country. “Today the Department of Social Protection issued payments valued at €61.9 million to 217,142 people for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).
“This represents an increase of 10,801 on the 206,341 people paid last week.
“In the past seven days, 8,690 people have closed their claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Of these, 6,309 have reported that they were returning to work. Some 4,953 people will be receiving their final payment on September 29.
“Over 19,000 people have applied for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment in the past seven days, partly reflecting, though not entirely, the effect of some areas having to be moved to Level 3 of restrictions.”