Breaking news: Social welfare payments for those unemployed due to Covid-19 pandemic increase to €350

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Breaking news: Social welfare payments for those unemployed due to Covid-19 pandemic increase to  €350

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar

The Government is to increase the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Support payment for people who have been laid-off due to the virus from €203 to €350. 

The payment will also apply to the self-employed affected by the virus.

However, people who are already unemployed due to reasons other than Covid-19 will remain on the usual Jobseekers' Benefit of €203.

The cabinet has also approved an emergency wage subsidy scheme under which the Government will pay 70% of a workers salary up to a cap of €410 per week net - equivalent to the after tax income of a worker on around €38,000. 

Workers earning between €38,000 and €76,000 will be entitled to assistance capped at €350, while workers earning above €76,000 will be excluded from the scheme. 

The scheme costing an estimated €3.7 billion will initially run for 12 weeks, and employers will be free to top-up the government's element of the salary. 

The scheme is targeted at companies hit by the collapse of economic activity triggered by Covid-19 - and employers seeking to avail of it would have to demonstrate a reduction in income of at least 25%, along with cash flow difficulties.