Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (273)

Bríd Smith

Question:

273. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Finance if clarification will be provided on a series of matters (details supplied) regarding the temporary wage subsidy scheme statistics published by the Revenue Commissioners, specifically in respect of table 9 regarding the scheme and top-ups by employers. [38015/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I assume the Deputy is referring to the statistical overview of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) published by Revenue, which is available at link: www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/documents/research/statistical-overview-of-covid-19-twss.pdf.

I am advised by Revenue that table 9 of the report shows the level of top-up payments made by TWSS recipient employers to their eligible employees each month (i.e. additional payments above the level of the subsidy). The amounts shown as ‘Employer Gross Pay’ in the table comprise of both top-up payments and wages where employees were no longer supported by TWSS. The figures do not include the TWSS subsidy amounts. I am advised by Revenue that because any week within a monthly cycle can include a variety of pay frequencies, for example weekly, fortnightly, twice monthly, monthly, (table 8 refers), the most appropriate measure of the level of top-up payments is for a month as a whole.

Regarding the Deputy’s request for a breakdown of top-up payments as a percentage of gross pay, I am advised by Revenue that this is not possible to provide due to the way in which gross pay was recorded during the operation of TWSS. For TWSS inclusive payslips, employers only reported the top-up payment amount in the ‘gross pay field’ of the payroll submission. The subsidy payment amount was not included (in the ‘gross pay field’) and for this reason, the comparison requested by the Deputy is not available.