It's been over a year since four-piece wedding band Jaker filled a dance floor.

Up until March 2020, the band were working flat out, travelling around Ireland and beyond to perform.

"We could be in Dublin one night, Cork the next. We’ve been to Germany and Portugal," said guitarist Neil Casey.

He and his twin brother, Paul, are half of the band.

The brothers have been on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) since their work came to a halt overnight due to Covid-19.

They are two of hundreds of thousands of people who have been in receipt of the payment, which was introduced by the Government to support workers whose livelihoods were devastated by the pandemic.

Neil and Paul watched today’s Government announcement that the PUP payment would be reduced over time, starting this September.

By next February, the payment will be brought into line with the Jobseeker's Allowance.

The announcement was made on a day when the Government announced its €3.5bn Economic Recovery Plan, the coalition’s roadmap to get the country working again.

Paul told Prime Time that it would be a disaster for the brothers if the payment was reduced before they were able to get their business back to where it was in early 2020.

"The PUP is putting food on the table - just about a roof over our heads, keeping lights on," Paul said.

The brothers are full-time musicians who haven’t been able to play in over a year.

While they understand that their industry will be one of the last to get back working, they are unhappy that a financial support they have been relying on might be reduced.

"It’s terrifying not knowing when we’re going to be able to come off the payment," Paul said.

"There’ll be a celebration in my house whenever I’m off it. I can't wait to be the man of the house and bring in the bread again."

Not everyone currently in receipt of the PUP is receiving the top rate of €350 a week.

Depending on their pre-pandemic income, some people are receiving €300, while others are receiving €250.

One reality facing the Government is that, just like rogue employers, there are rogue employees.

And, as you might expect, there are stories of a small number of people receiving the PUP who supposedly could return to work, but refuse to do so.

Hairdressers, restaurants, and the childcare industry have been affected by an unavailability of workers.

Karen Clince, managing director of Tigers Childcare, wants an immediate response from Government to ensure people go back to work, but also that they are paid more to do so.

"We don’t have 100% of our colleagues back. Some of them are on the PUP payment," she said.

"The PUP payment is paying them more to stay at home than come back to work."

Ms Clince said that, in her 19 years working in the industry, this is the first time she has experienced a "complete staffing crisis".

While she believes people should be encouraged by Government to go back to work, she also said that she needed further subsidies so that she could pay her staff more.

Nobody working 40 hours a week should be earning less than €350 a week, she said.

While there will be much analysis and parsing of today’s Government announcements, there will also be people like Neil and Paul Casey who are stuck at home - but would love nothing more than to come off the PUP to work.