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Survey Reveals Mixed Views On Whether Part-time Workers Should Be Allowed To Keep All Of Their COVID-19 Overpayment

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The latest Taxback.com survey 2020 

The latest Taxback.com taxpayer sentiment survey has revealed that 69% of respondents think that the distribution of the Government’s Pandemic Unemployment Payment should have been handled differently.

The survey sought taxpayers views of the Government’s rollout of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and found that:

- 31% think it was the right amount
- 29% think that it was the right amount but too many received the payment
-24% say it should have been means-tested
-10% feel it was just too high
-6% say it was not enough 

However, analysis of the feedback reveals that, rather than voicing a lack of support for the Irish Government, the majority of respondents simply suggested that the payment could have been structured differently.`

Given the circumstances and the lack of clarity around the financial impact on the economy, it’s understandable that taxpayers would be concerned over the huge costs to the Exchequer.

As of the 6th of July, national figures indicate that  412,900 people received the payment, down from 600,000 at the peak of the scheme.

The fact that many people received more in the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment than they were earning prior to lockdown has been a contentious issue around the country over recent months.

The survey highlighted that 32% of taxpayers believe that the recipients should be allowed to keep all of what they got, while 32% believe those who earned more by receiving the PUP should pay some of the monies back.

20% of those questioned believe that it should be means-tested, which would most likely result in a full or partial repayment.

When asked if the 200,000 people who earned more on the €350 COVID-19 unemployment payment than they did from their job prior to lockdown should have to repay it, respondents answered as follows:

- 32% believe people should have to repay the difference between the new payment and what they previously earned per week

- 32% say they should be allowed to keep it

- 20% suggest means-testing

- 16% say people should have to repay it in full

Changes introduced at the end of June addressed the anomaly within the PUP system PUP. 

75% of recipients whose prior employment earnings were €200 per week or higher will remain at a payment level of €350 per week.

Employees whose prior earnings were up to €199 per week (25 % of recipients) will be paid at the regular Jobseekers rate of €203 per week.

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About The Author

Kristina Valcheva - Digital content writer @ Taxback.com

Kristina is a digital content writer at Taxback.com. She has a strong interest in finance and technology, and her background is in media, journalism and sales.

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