Ireland registers falling number of people living on pandemic unemployment payment

The number of people who live on the government income support in Ireland due to the loss of their jobs in the COVID-19 crisis has fallen to 412,900, according to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection on Monday.

“Today, the Department of Social Protection issued payments valued at 128.3 million euros (145.1 million U.S. dollars) to 412,900 people for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP),” the department said in a statement, adding that this represents a decrease of 26,100 on the 439,000 people paid last week.

At the peak time during the pandemic, over 600,000 people in Ireland were paid under the PUP, according to the figures from the department.

The statement said that some 44,800 people will be receiving their final payment when the payment issued on Monday will arrive in their bank accounts, which means a further drop in the number of such people in the country in the next week.

The PUP is an emergency measure introduced by the Irish government in mid-March, under which people who have lost their jobs can receive a weekly payment for the government at a rate ranging from 203 euros to 350 euros depending on their weekly earnings prior to the crisis.

The PUP in addition to other fiscal measures adopted by the government to deal with the COVID-19 crisis will increase the country’s fiscal deficit to 30 billion euros in 2020, according to Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. (1 euro=1.131 U.S. dollars)