There are 800 fewer people receiving Pandemic Unemployment payments in Galway this week, as the numbers claiming COVID-19 benefits continues to drop.
The government made payments worth €85.2 million to 274,600 people on the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment scheme this week, down 12,300 on the week before.
In Galway payments were made to 14,600 people on Tuesday, down from 15,400 on July 28.
A further 500 people in Galway have closed their accounts with the Department of Social Protection for the payment this week.
Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said it is “particularly encouraging” to see the downward trend reflected in all counties.
The total which has now been paid out under the COVID-19 scheme comes to over €3 billion.
“To put this into context, last year my Department paid out €2.1 billion in Child Benefit,” Minister Humphreys said.
“This therefore reflects the scale of the support the Government has provided to those who lost employment during the public health crisis.”
The number of people on the COVID-19 unemployment scheme has fallen 54% since the peak of demand on May 5, when 598,000 people were on it.
Along with the Pandemic Unemployment payments, there are currently 9,470 employers who have registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme.
An estimated 390,000 employees are currently being supported by the scheme having received a subsidy in their most recent pay period.
The above payments are in addition to the 220,900 people who were reported on the Live Register as of the end of June.
It was announced yesterday that Ireland will not be going into Phase 4 of reopening the economy next Monday, and that restrictions will remain in place for several more weeks.
This means that pubs that do not serve food will not be allowed to reopen, and restrictions on gatherings will remain at 50 people indoors, and 200 people outdoors, which will also affect arts businesses such as theatres, cinemas, etc.
Minister Humphreys said that where restrictions are still hurting people in the pubs, arts, ad entertainment sectors, the government want those people to be able to return to their jobs when restrictions have eased.
“Workers who remain temporarily laid off are therefore not required to meet the Genuinely Seeking Work requirement for work in other sectors.”
“The focus for the Department will, as always, be on supporting those who have been permanently laid off and who now need to look for new job opportunities.”