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Explainer: How and when the PUP will be cut

The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) is set to be reduced from early September under the Government’s Economic Recovery Plan.


by Jennifer McShane
01st Jun 2021

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The PUP will begin being dismantled from September, an extension of the original June expiry date.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed that the PUP will be maintained at its current rates for workers until September before a “gradual reduction” takes place over the remainder of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022.

The current weekly rate – which is set at €350 at the highest – will be reduced by €50 increments in three phases:

  • The first on September 7th,
  • The second on November 16th
  • The third on February 8th, 2022

This is “if progress continues as expected”, according to the plan.

How will the cuts work?

From September 7th, the top rate will drop from €350 to €300.

The middle rate will drop from €300 to €250 and the bottom rate from €250 to €203.

On November 16th, the middle rate will drop to €203 and the higher rate to €250.

In the final phase, all recipients will be put on €203 per week.

The PUP scheme will also close to new applicants from July 1st and students will not be eligible from September 7th.

Finally, the top rate will drop to €203, bringing all three into line from February 8th.

Pre-pandemic social welfare payments, such as jobseekers’ allowance, will still be available.

What about other economic supports?

The Taoiseach has also confirmed that the Emergency Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) will be extended until the end of the year.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar confirmed that the commercial rates waiver will be extended through the third quarter of the year, while the nine percent VAT cut will remain in place until September 2022.