Pandemic Unemployment Payment extended until April 2021 as €7.4billion stimulus packaged announced
The stimulus package will cover the Covid-19 payment until April 2021.
The Irish government has announced a vast array of measures intended to stimulate the economy and offset the effects of the Covid-19 crisis.
A total of €.74billion will be pumped into the economy through various measures aimed at businesses, employees and those collecting welfare.
Taoiseach Mícheal Martin said that the July Jobs Stimulus "will protect existing jobs while creating new and sustainable employment options in the months and years ahead".
Chief among the measures includes an extension of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment until April of next year. However, three new rates will apply from 17 September onwards.
Those who earned less than €200 per week will receive the regular €203 dole payment. Those who earned between €200 and €300 per week will receive €250, and those who earned earned over €300 per week will receive €300.
There will also be subsidies for those who choose to forego foreign travel and instead "stay and spend" in Ireland.
35,000 extra places will be provided in further and higher education, and there will be €200 million investment in training, skills development, work placement schemes, recruitment subsidies, and job search and assistance measures.
A raft of measures targeted at businesses were also announced, including:
- Employment Wage Support Scheme will succeed the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, and run until April 2021
- 0% interest for first year of SME loans
- Restart Grant for Enterprises is being extended and expanded
- The waiver of commercial rates extended until end-September 2020
- A €2 billion COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme
Speaking about the stimulus package on Thursday, Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar said: "This has been a time of enormous stress and strain for employers and their staff. We’ve already pumped billions of euro into the economy through wage subsidies, the PUP, cash for businesses, low cost loans and commercial rates waivers.
"We know these actions have made a difference. We’ve made enormous progress on suppressing the virus, and significant progress too on restarting our economy.
"More than 280,000 people have already got back to work. Repairing the damage wrought on the economy – and keeping the virus contained – is vital for the wellbeing of our people. Today’s stimulus package is the next step in our national recovery story. It is designed to help businesses which haven’t reopened yet and those struggling to do so.
However, Labour finance spokesperson Ged Nash has rubbished the package, noting their call for €10 billion of investment and accusing the government of massaging their figures by "including a full €2 billion to cover the cost of the full potential State liability under Credit Guarantee Scheme".
The plan "lacks ambition and fails to put real money in people's pockets that would be spent locally, sustaining jobs and businesses," Nash said.
Further details of the package can be found here.