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.