The coronavirus pandemic has pushed over 300,000 workers onto State wage support lifelines as they have either been laid off or seen their pay cut, according to official data released today.
The Central Statistics Office said that 283,037 people were in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and that 25,104 were signed up for the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme.
The Central Statistics Office “Live Register” tracks benefits and so those who have signed up for Government wage have now been added to the register.
The Government has budgeted €6.7bn for emergency support measures so far as the lockdown across the State intensifies in the battle against coronavirus.
Most of that is earmarked for wage support schemes and unemployment payments.
Meanwhile, a thousand people a day are now contacting Bank of Ireland alone seeking debt repayment breaks, the bank’s head of retail Gavin Kelly, told the Irish Independent.
Around 60pc of those struggling customers are homeowners unable to meet mortgage payments because they have lost jobs or suffered pay cuts, while the rest are small businesses seeking a lifeline from their bank to ride out the crisis.
Policymakers have been pinning their hopes on a so-called ‘V-shaped’ recovery which would lift jobs and the economy as quickly and suddenly as they have crashed.
But the scale of the economic hit now being suffered means the prospect of an equally dramatic recovery is becoming remote, according to analysts at both Goodbody Stockbrokers and KBC Ireland.