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Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 27 January 2021

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Questions (493, 504, 518, 532)

Cian O'Callaghan

Question:

493. Deputy Cian O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Social Protection if the pandemic unemployment payment will be extended to aviation workers until 2022; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3994/21]

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Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

504. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will address the concerns raised in correspondence (details supplied) about financial support measures for Irish pilots; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3874/21]

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Neale Richmond

Question:

518. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Social Protection if she plans to extend the pandemic unemployment payment past the current deadline of 31 March 2021 for workers in the aviation sector; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4140/21]

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Thomas Pringle

Question:

532. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Social Protection her plans for the rates of the pandemic unemployment payment after 31 March 2021; if the current rates will be retained given the severe impact of the pandemic on those who have lost their employment arising from the necessary public health measures; if a commitment will be given to not reduce the payment as previously indicated by Government; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4457/21]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 493, 504, 518 and 532 together.

Since last March over 14 million payments have issued under the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) with over 820,000 people receiving support under the scheme. The total cost of PUP to date is over €5.3 Billion. These figures reflect the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on our economy and society and demonstrate also the Government's commitment to continue to provide effective targeted supports.

PUP will remain available until 31st March 2021 and I recently secured Government approval to retain payment at the existing rates which provides a level of reassurance to recipients at this time, including those in sectors, including aviation, most impacted by the pandemic.

The Government will continue to keep all aspects of the PUP under review and future decisions will be informed by the trajectory of the pandemic and the evolving public health situation.

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