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Pup-hill from here PUP recipients fall below 100,000 for first time

More than €8.8 billion in PUP weekly payments have been paid out since the beginning of the pandemic.

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The number of people receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) has fallen below 100,000 for the first time.

Last week, figures showed that 101,470 were in receipt of PUP across the country.

This week, the Department of Social Protection paid out €25.1 million to 97,130 people claiming PUP weekly payments, a decrease of 4,340 from the previous week.

This means that the number of people receiving PUP has dropped below 100,000 for the first time since its inception.

The greatest reduction for the past 18 weeks has been in the Accommodation and Food Services sector.

More than €8.8 billion in PUP weekly payments have been paid into bank accounts and post offices since the beginning of the pandemic.

Speaking today, Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said: “To date, my Department has paid over €8.8 billion in Pandemic Unemployment Payments to almost 900,000 people. This income support has been a vital lifeline for these people and their families.

“Today, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, the number of people in receipt of the PUP has fallen below the 100,000 mark.

“This is a significant milestone and means that there has been an almost 85 per cent reduction in the number of people receiving the PUP since May 2020 at the height of the pandemic.

“More and more people continue to return to work and the numbers on the PUP have now fallen every single week for the past nine months.”

It comes ahead of Budget 2022 tomorrow, which Minister Humphreys says “will be key to stimulating our economy and supporting sectors that have been negatively impacted by Covid-19".

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She added that her priorities include continuing to make “significant progress” in getting people off PUP, as well as “supporting those most vulnerable such as our older people, our carers, people with disabilities and low income families".

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