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Government is considering a new scheme similar to PUP for unemployed

DUBLIN: With the termination of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) Scheme, the Government is considering a new scheme for the unemployed which will provide higher benefits in connection with the PRSI contributions made earlier to the workers. Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has hinted that a new interim payment scheme is being introduced for these people.

Leo Varadkar confirmed that talks are underway to revamp the PUP scheme in the summer. The Tánaiste says a social welfare scheme is being formulated that can be used in a similar situation even if the PUP stops. With this, when determining social welfare payments, there will be a process to link the PUP with one’s past working history.

It is estimated that this will bring about a significant change in the social welfare system. At present, the direct benefit of losing a job is €203 each. However, the scheme proposes that those who have been working for a long period of time on a higher salary will be given a fixed percentage of their salary for a fixed number of weeks or months in case of job loss.

At the end of the first fixed period after losing the job, they will receive only the normal payment. Similar social insurance contribution schemes exist in other European countries.

Mr. Varadkar clarified that stopping the PUP in a phased manner would not mean eliminating it in a phased manner. The new plan will give people a little more pay in the first two weeks or the first two months of unemployment until those who lose their job income match a social welfare income.

PUP and new scheme; Further explanation

The new plan will include payments related to previous income. PUP is a social welfare payment for employees and self-employed who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Depending on the income you earned before you lost your job, PUP can be anywhere from €203 to €350.

At the same time, the new scheme aims to help someone who has been paying PRSI for years and is facing difficulties and will lose their job in the future. Those who do not make enough contributions will be valued at €203, the current job seeker payment.

A similar project is underway in Germany. Anyone who has paid the premium for at least one year in 24 months will be eligible for unemployment benefits if they lose their job. Those with children can claim two-thirds of their previous salary. Those without children can claim 60% of their previous salary.

The duration of the benefit payments will also vary depending on how long you have been paying into the system and your age. Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has stated that such a scheme will be introduced in Ireland even if the benefit period is reduced.

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