Cuts to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) begin today, with recipients to receive €50 less.
Rates will be cut after September 7th as part of the Government's wind down of the scheme, with students in full-time education also receiving their final payment today as they return to college.
Under the cuts, the maximum weekly rate of €350 will fall to €300, the rate of €300 will reduce to €250 and the lower weekly rate of €250 will fall to €203.
All recipients of the payment will see the change on September 14th, with further cuts set for November 16th this year and February 8th, 2022.
The PUP is a social welfare payment for employees and self-employed people who lost all their employment due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The scheme closed to new applicants from July 8th and when recipients’ payments reach €203, they will be “gradually” transitioned to a jobseeker's payment.
The process of moving people who are on the lower €203 rate of the PUP to jobseeker's payment has been deferred until the end of September 2021.
Those in receipt of the €203 rate of the PUP will not move to jobseeker's terms until after their sector has started to reopen, in line with the next phase of the Government's reopening plan.
Thousands of workers across the state will see their financial supports slashed
At its peak in May of last year, the PUP was being claimed by 605,000 people across a large range of sectors and in total more than 900,000 have received at least one payment at some point over the last 18 months.
Last week, 143,606 people were still in receipt of the payment, with the Department of Social Protection issuing weekly payments valued at €42.5 million.
The move to reduce the PUP has been criticised by some Opposition politicians.
On Tuesday, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection Claire Kerrane said that “thousands of workers across the state will see their financial supports slashed despite the fact that they remain unable to return to work due to their sectors being closed under public health advice.”