NB please see PQ below

In response to a Parliamentary Question response from the Minister for Social Protection, Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has highlighted the continued cost in jobs and livelihoods of the government’s Covid-19 policies.

An Teachta Tóibín:

“Unemployment in Ireland stands at nearly on 25%. Thousands of SMEs have closed their doors since the start of the pandemic. The number of receipts of the PUP has increased significantly since the start of 2021. In figures provided by the Minister for Social Protection, we learn that 335,412 PUP payments were made in the first week of January 2021 at a cost of more than €99 million. The number of payments to be made this week is 443,247 at the cost of €132.3 million. This represents an increase of over 100,000 in the number of payments and a €33 million increase in the cost to the Exchequer. Through many of the weeks in 2021, both the number of payments and cost of these payments has been higher. So far in 2021, €1.8 billion has been outlaid on 5.9 million PUP payments, even as several of the payments are made below the poverty rate. While these payments are important in order to shield citizens from the worst elements of the Lockdown this is unsustainable and the inevitable bi-product of the government’s crippling of the economy.”

“This is the human and economic cost of 190+ days of workplace closures and the thousands of jobs lost through lockdowns and inadequate business supports. If the government does not change course soon, the number of PUP payments and their cost will only increase further. This is not free money. There is an opportunity cost. This €1.8 billion will come out of public spending on health, housing, education and infrastructure for years to come. Given FF and FG’s previous policies there will be cuts, and tax increases. What’s really amazing about this is no one is talk about it. Ireland is heading towards a National debt of €270 billion by 2025 and it hardly appears in political discourse at all. ”

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For Written Answer on : 31/03/2021

Question Number(s): 659 Question Reference(s): 16540/21

Department: Social Protection

Asked by: Peadar Tóibín T.D.

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QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Social Protection the number receiving pandemic unemployment payments per week to date in 2021; and the cost of these payments per week to date in 2021.

REPLY

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is available to employees and the self-employed who have lost their job on or after 13th March 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The expenditure to date in 2021 for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is €1.8 billion with over 5 million payments made.

These figures are provisional and are subject to reconciliation.

The table below provides the number and value of payments weekly from 8th January 2021 up to 30th March 2021.

Week Ending Number of Payments

Payment Value

# €’000

08/01/2021 335,412 99,091,891

15/01/2021 422,544 129,406,417

22/01/2021 460,794 138,447,046

29/01/2021 476,701 143,829,275

05/02/2021 480,780 144,707,585

12/02/2021 481,957 145,010,383

19/02/2021 478,482 143,984,051

26/02/2021 474,101 154,797,308

05/03/2021 469,323 140,870,460

12/03/2021 471,686 141,535,612

19/03/2021 456,583 136,738,994

26/03/2021 449,126 134,347,300

02/04/2021 443,247 132,300,000

Total 5,900,736 1,785,066,322