The Government's Social Insurance Fund, which underpins state welfare and pension benefits, has plummeted from a surplus of just under €4 billion at the end of 2019 to a deficit of almost €1.2 billion due to the pandemic, the Department of Social Protection has confirmed.
The sharp reduction highlights the unprecedented government spending on Covid-related supports such as the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, coupled with a €920mn collapse in PRSI revenue from people out of work.
The special 0.5% PRSI rate for people on the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme also contributed to the shortfall.
The Social Insurance Fund (SIF) is funded by PRSI contributions.
That income is used to pay for social insurance benefits such as unemployment supports and
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