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Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 25 November 2021

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Ceisteanna (276, 277)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

276. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Social Protection if the pandemic unemployment payment was open to applicants in circumstances in which the applicant was self-employed and lost their job due to the Covid-19 pandemic between 13 March 2020 and 7 July 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [58114/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

277. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Social Protection if the pandemic unemployment payment was open to applicants in circumstances in which the applicant was in receipt of the back to work enterprise allowance scheme and could not work due to the Covid-19 pandemic between 13 March 2020 and 7 July 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [58115/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 276 and 277 together.

The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) was introduced as an emergency payment for qualifying employees and self-employed people who lost employment as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. To date expenditure on the scheme is in excess of €8.9 billion.

The PUP scheme evolved and arrangements were introduced for the self-employed so that they could take up intermittent or occasional work opportunities and retain PUP.

The legislation governing entitlement to PUP, introduced in August 2020, required that a self-employed person's income had reduced or ceased as a direct consequence of Covid-19 and the adverse impacts were such that the person would be available to take up full-time employment. Budget 2021 sought to provide clarity to this position by providing that recipients engaging in self-employment could earn up to €480 over a rolling four week period and continue to maintain entitlement to PUP. This was subsequently changed to €960 over an eight-week period as the legislation was developed.

Recipients of the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance scheme could avail of PUP if they satisfied the conditions of the scheme.

I trust this clarifies the position.

Question No. 277 answered with Question No. 276.
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