© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A shuttered pub called Reilly’s is seen closed due to Government restrictions around coronavirus, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Dublin, Ireland, September 3, 2020. Picture taken September 3, 2020. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyn
By Padraic Halpin DUBLIN (Reuters) – Ireland extended the main financial supports for firms hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday and announced the first phasing out of other emergency measures, with coronavirus-related jobless payments to be tapered from September. The government has propped up the economy with supports worth 38 billion euros ($46.46 billion), or nearly 20% of national income, having had one the strictest lockdown regimes in Europe for the last 15 months. Ireland is emerging from its third and longest shutdown. Ministers agreed to extend commercial rates waivers until the end of September, continue to give grants to firms with significantly reduced turnover beyond that point and keep wage subsidies and tax debt warehousing going until the end of 2021. “Our aim is not simply to return to the situation as it was early last year, and let’s be clear there is enormous damage to be undone. Our core objective is to restore and then go beyond pre-pandemic employment levels,” Prime Minister Micheal Martin told a news conference. Ireland’s unemployment rate was just below 5% when the pandemic began. The number of people temporarily or permanently out of work stood at 22.4% at the end April, with around three in four on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath said he expected that cohort to fall very significantly over the coming weeks as shops, restaurants, pubs and hotels reopen ahead of the phasing out of the PUP between September and February 2022. Other measures announced on Tuesday include keeping a lower 9% VAT rate for the hospitality sector until September 2022. Ireland also laid out how it will spend its 915 million euro portion of the EU’s 750 billion euro fund to help member states recover from the pandemic.
The money will be focused on Ireland’s green transition, including a low-cost loan scheme to retrofit homes and in retraining 100,000 people by 2025. The central bank has estimated this many people could lose their jobs permanently due to the pandemic. ($1 = 0.8180 euros)
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.