Government rules out return of pandemic unemployment payment

Government rules out return of pandemic unemployment payment

The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) will not be reintroduced alongside the new measures to tackle the surge in Covid-19.

Despite demands from opposition politicians earlier, the Government said on Tuesday evening that the PUP will not be reintroduced alongside the new measures.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin on Tuesday evening announced new guidance designed to address a major rise in Covid-19 cases.

Pubs, nightclubs and restaurants will now have a midnight closing time from Thursday, as part of the raft of measures.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said: “This isn’t like a previous lockdown where the entirety of the economy is closed.”

“This is a curfew, not closure,” she said.

She said that the hospitality industry would still require staff, despite the new measures.

“One of the major problems facing businesses at the moment is that they can’t get staff,” Ms Humphreys said.

“There are no plans to reopen PUP at this point.”

I do accept that nightclubs are impacted by the midnight closing time. But they will be able to avail of supports, such as the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme.

“There are a lot of opportunities out there at the moment,” she stressed.

“We have seen the signs up saying ‘staff wanted’.”

Ms Humphreys also said that she anticipated that some venues may be able to adapt the new rules.

“Some venues will adapt to the 12 o’clock closing time and still keep some of their staff employed,” she told reporters.

She said that social welfare supports remain available for anyone w

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