598,000 people are in receipt of the special unemployment payment introduced because of the recent outbreak of coronavirus, according to the latest figures. That’s a 7,000 increase from last week.

The allowance is € 350 a week and is being provided to workers and the self-employed who have had no work since 13 March as a result of the health crisis.

This week’s payments alone will cost the State € 209.3 million.

The figures also show that 52,000 employers are registered with Revenue for the wage subsidy scheme.

This temporary scheme was set up to assist employers whose businesses have been hit hard by the health crisis.

Under the scheme, the State pays up to 85% of workers’ pay in certain circumstances as long as they are not let go by the employer.

About 205,000 other people are getting normal unemployment benefit.