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23/10/2021

Number of Kilkenny people on Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) drops this week

PUP will be reduced on a tapered basis - details below

Number of Kilkenny people on Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) drops this week

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There are 2,409 Kilkenny people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) this week, a slight drop from 2,521 last week.

The greatest reduction this week is in the area of accommodation and food services sector.

The PUP figures published this week are in addition to the 184,213 people who were on the Live Register at the end of July.

The number of Kilkenny people on the PUP during the 2021 peak (February 9) was 8,957 while at the 2020 peak (May 4) there were 11,491 on the payment. 

In total across Ireland there are 153,309 people in receipt a Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) this week (valued at €45.4 million).

There were 602,100 people availing of the payment across Ireland during the 2020 peak.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys welcomed this week's figures.

"The number of people receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment has now fallen by almost 70% since February," she said.

"In the past week, some 4,400 PUP recipients closed their claims with almost half of these working in the accommodation and food sector. It is heartening to see more people return to work each week as we continue to move cautiously through our recovery from Covid-19."

The county with the highest number of people receiving PUP is Dublin which stands at 58,215. It is followed by Cork (13,536) and Galway (8,120).

The Department continues to remind workers who are returning to work that they must close their claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment on the actual date that they start back at work, in order to ensure that their claim is processed correctly and to avoid incurring an overpayment that the Department will take steps to recover.

In line with the Government’s National Economic Recovery Plan, the PUP will be gradually reduced on a tapered basis over a 6 month period until February 2022 to align it with the standard jobseekers payments. This transition commences in September 2021.

PUP has been closed to new claimants since July 8 this year. People who have lost their job since then can apply for Jobseeker's Benefit or Jobseeker's Allowance in the normal way.

The top three rates of PUP will reduce by €50 in September. The maximum weekly rate of €350 will reduce to €300.

The current rate of €300 will reduce to €250 and the current rate of €250 will reduce to €203.

The new payment rates will be reflected in payments received on Tuesday, September 14.

People on the €203 PUP rate will transition to standard jobseekers terms.

The Department runs post payment checks that includes verifying data against Revenue records, examining cases where the same Bank account is used multiple times, examining cases where an employer or members of the public report concerns, and the use of data analytics to identify and check claims. It also undertakes employer inspections.

This work is undertaken by the Department’s Special Investigation Unit, which includes over 20 Gardaí on secondment to the Department.

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