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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 1-18
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 1000 No. 2
Unrevised

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Written Answers Nos. 1-18

  The following are questions tabled by Members for written response and the ministerial replies as received on the day from the Departments [unrevised].

  Questions Nos. 1 to 7, inclusive, answered orally.

  Questions Nos. 8 to 16, inclusive, resubmitted.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

 17. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if the restart grant or additional business supports can be extended to a business (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33964/20]

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The July Stimulus introduced significant measures to help support tourism businesses to recover following the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to the Restart Grant Plus scheme for B&Bs, some of the key measures for tourism and hospitality include the “Stay and Spend” initiative, the €26 million adaptation grant, the €10 million grant for coach tourism. Tourism enterprises also benefit from wider horizontal supports announced in Budget 2021.

  As part of Budget 2021, the New COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), operated through Revenue from 13 October 2020, offers a targeted, timely and temporary sector-specific support to businesses forced to close or trade at significantly reduced levels due to COVID of up to €5,000 per month.

  The Government has extended the wage subsidy scheme, which will now run until 2021 and has also improved eligibility criteria for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

  The Government also announced a six-month reduction in the VAT, going down from 23% to 21%, a reduction in the 13.5% VAT rate to 9% which will benefit the hospitality sector, together with a range of additional public capital investment measures to support the domestic economy.

  The Microenterprise Assistance Fund is also available from Local Enterprise Offices for businesses which were not eligible for the COVID-19 Restart/Restart Plus Grant or similar COVID-19 business restart grants from other Government Departments.

  Self-catering businesses are a crucial and valued part of our national tourism industry and Fáilte Ireland is committed to helping these businesses safely and successfully return to business. In this regard, the Fáilte Ireland COVID-19 Business Support Hub (https://covid19.failteireland.ie/) is targeting its supports to respond to the most urgent challenges and threats which tourism businesses are now facing.

I can assure you that I will continue to work with my colleagues across Government and all stakeholders to examine how best to further assist businesses impacted by COVID-19 as part of the forthcoming National Economic Plan.    

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

 18. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding Budget 2021 for food suppliers to businesses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34012/20]

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar I am keenly aware that businesses are making a massive sacrifice to protect their communities and I am committed to ensuring that the Government will offer as much assistance and support as possible.

  Budget 2021 provides a significant package of tax and expenditure measures to build the resilience of the economy and to help vulnerable but viable businesses across all sectors. The measures in the Budget are in addition to those announced in the July Stimulus, including the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), cash for businesses, low cost loans, commercial rates waivers and deferred tax liabilities. Details of the wide range of COVID-19 schemes are available on my Department’s website at https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/.

  As a result of the fact that businesses have to close, we are making changes to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and the EWSS. The new payment structure for the PUP includes the increase in the top rate to €350 for those who were earning in excess of €400 per week. This change to payment rates will apply in respect of all existing and new applicants. The EWSS is also being amended to align with the amendment to PUP, with the top payment increasing to €350 for those earning over €400.

As part of Budget 2021, a new COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), became operational from 13th   October through Revenue and offers a targeted, timely and temporary sector-specific support to businesses forced to close or trade at significantly reduced levels due to COVID of up to €5,000 per week.

  We are providing more and cheaper loan finance through MicroFinance Ireland, SBCI and the new €2bn Credit Guarantee Scheme

  We have also announced a six-month reduction in the VAT, going down from 23% to 21%, a reduction in the 13.5% VAT rate to 9%.


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