The government has abandoned a planned reduction in the Wage Subsidy for Employment (EWSS) program in an attempt to help businesses affected by the new Covid-19 restrictions.
At a press conference, the finance minister said that an earlier proposal to use the Covid Restriction Support Scheme to help businesses had proven to be “very complex and very expensive.”
Paschal Donohoe said speed is vital in helping the hospitality industry.
Instead, he said, he decided to keep the improved subsidy rates under EWSS for two more months and said it was a more efficient and longer way. effective in supporting affected businesses in the short term.
From February 1, 2022, the initial structure with two prices of € 203 per week and € 151.50 per week will apply; for March and April 2022, the flat-rate subsidy of € 100 per week will apply and the scheme will end on April 30, 2022.
He also decided to postpone the CRSS end date to the end of January to help nightclubs and discos which had to close until January 9.
A new amendment to the 2021 finance bill will be made at Seanad Stadium next week to give effect to these changes.
Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath said: “The expansion of the CRSS and EWSS programs is another part of the government’s current program to support the economy.
“To date, over € 20 billion in direct support has been provided to help the economy and households.
“The exemption from commercial tariffs has been extended until the end of March 2022 and this will help support many businesses during this difficult time.”
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Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe Says Government To Maintain Improved Grant Rates Under EWSS For Two Additional Months | Read more: https://t.co/h4AoHp65dI pic.twitter.com/Jx6UA9I1th
– RTÉ News (@rtenews) December 9, 2021
The Ibec group of companies said the move “will provide much-needed relief to businesses across a wide range of sectors of the economy that have experienced disruption and substantial business losses as a result of the pandemic.”
Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said the extension of support “will be important to keep afloat many businesses, especially those in the experience economy, for whom the traditional income-generating festive period has been seriously disturbed “.
The Restaurants Association of Ireland said the government had made the right decision to maintain the wage subsidy program for another two months.
He said there now needs to be a medium and long term plan for the recovery and sustainability of the hotel industry.
The latest Covid-19 restrictions went into effect on Tuesday and mean nightclubs are closed until January 9.
Social distancing measures are in place for bars and restaurants, while there are capacity limits for indoor events such as concerts.
The government accepts that a 50% limit on participation in indoor events makes many of them financially unsustainable.
While the pandemic unemployment payment reopened to new entrants the same day to help people who lost their jobs, business aid took longer to finalize.