Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (34)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

34. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if matters raised in correspondence by a person (details supplied) will be examined. [7257/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Enterprise)

Budget 2021 provided 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. Details of the wide range of supports available are on my Department’s website at https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/.

These measures are in addition to the July Stimulus €7bn package of enterprise measures, which includes the Wage Subsidy Scheme extended through 2021, the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, grants, low-cost loans, write-off of commercial rates and deferred tax liabilities, all of which will help to improve cashflow amongst self-employed. We are providing for an extension of the tax warehousing scheme to include repayments of Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme funds owed by employers and preliminary tax obligations for adversely affected businesses.

As announced in the July Stimulus, the Enterprise Support Grant was extended to assist eligible self-employed, including sole traders, who exit the PUP or jobseekers schemes, to re-start their business. Further information is available at www.gov.ie.

On the 9th of December, following engagement with the Arts sector and other self-employed sectors my colleague Minister Heather Humphreys T.D., Minister for Social Protection, announced the doubling of the PUP threshold from the current €480 over four weeks to €960 over an eight-week period effective immediately. This measure is to assist those who are trying to restart their businesses and will allow self-employed people to take on intermittent jobs without losing their entitlement to the PUP.

The Government also announced the provision of support of €50m for the live entertainment sector in Budget 2021. This will include measures for the commercial entertainment sector and will support live entertainment across the country. The 2021 supports for the live entertainment sector will be the subject of further consultation with stakeholders. It will also be informed by the pilot live performance scheme in 2020 which is being rolled out now.

I can assure the Deputy that all COVID-19 Business Schemes, including the CRSS, are under constant review in terms of the evolving situation and will be adapted as circumstances dictate.

My officials have worked with other relevant Departments to identify the type and number of businesses that fall outside the scope of the CRSS. I am pleased the Government agreed to establish a new COVID Business Aid Scheme (CBAS) to help those not eligible for CRSS or Fáilte Ireland schemes, which we announced on 9th February. The new CBAS will provide funding of up to €8,000 for those businesses that are in receipt of a rates bill from their local authority.

My colleagues, the Minister Catherine Martin T.D., Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht and Minister Charlie McConalogue, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine may be able to provide more specific details on the events and hospitality industry, and details on supports for the food sector respectively.