A total of €2,828,623 in arrears under the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) has been paid out to 6,286 people in Clare, Deputy Joe Carey confirmed this evening.

The local Fine Gael said: “I welcome the approval by my colleague, Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys, of the payment of arrears under the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) to 286,000 people nationwide today. 

“The total amount paid out this morning was €129.2 million. This includes €2,828,623 paid to 6,285 people living in Clare.

“Many of the people who received arrears today may have not been expecting it so this is a welcome boost, especially ahead of Christmas.

“The Pandemic Unemployment Payment has proven to be an essential lifeline for so many workers. Over €3.4bn has been paid out, demonstrating the Government’s determination to protect workers.

“The money was paid ahead of the rollout of the Christmas Bonus, which will see almost €390 million paid out to 1.6 million people nationwide.

“Between these arrears and the Christmas Bonus, over a half a billion euro will be paid out nationwide over the course of a week.”

The Clarecastle-based TD urged people to invest locally in the countdown to Christmas.

Deputy Carey added: “What better approach to take than to invest it in the local economy and support small businesses ahead of Christmas.

“Retailers in Clare have had a challenging time during the Covid pandemic and all of us should do right by them and buy presents and other essentials this Christmas.”

Commenting on the payment of the arrears, Minister Humphreys said: “My department examined a total of 1.4million applications to check if arrears were due and today we are paying out €129.2 million to approximately 286,000 people

“This payment will be on top of the Christmas Bonus of €389 million that will be paid next week.”

“That is over half a billion into the economy within a week and my strong message to people is ‘Shop Irish and Shop local to support local businesses and local jobs. The retailers are open and they deserve our support.”