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Pandemic Unemployment Payment cost exceeds €6 billion

The cost of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment Scheme has this week topped €6 billion since it was launched in March of last year, according to the latest figures from the Department of Social Protection.

A total of 473,413 people will receive the payment this week - a reduction of 4,252 compared to last week. However, this figure does not fully reflect the unemployment situation, as it excludes a further 188,543 people recorded on the Live Register at the end of January.

When those two groups are combined, almost 662,000 people are entirely dependent on the state for unemployment income supports.

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