Rail Network

Questions (46)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

46. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding Irish Rail; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7774/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

As the Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. However, I am not involved in the day-to-day operations of public transport.

The issue raised is an operational matter for Iarnród Éireann and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply.

Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Electric Vehicles

Questions (47)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

47. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Transport if concerns raised in correspondence by a person (details supplied) will receive a response; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7818/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

Electric scooters are a type of powered personal transporter (PPT). PPTs are classed as mechanically propelled vehicles, the use of which requires a valid licence, tax and appropriate insurance in accordance with Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1961. As PPTs do not fall under any existing vehicle category, it is not currently possible to tax and insure them and there is no separate licence category for them. Therefore they may not be used on public roads and in public places. However, their use is permitted on private land with the permission of the landowner. While their use on public roads (including footways) is clearly illegal, I am aware that there has been some confusion on this matter and that commercial interests have not always highlighted the legal constraints on their use.

The intention is to legislate for e-scooters in accordance with the Programme for Government as soon as possible. This involves identifying and developing appropriate amendments to primary legislation across a range of complex areas. The work must be carried out in such a way that it does not undermine the overall framework of Road Traffic Law or Road Safety in general. Department officials are currently working on drafting the necessary changes to primary legislation. Subject to satisfactory resolution of the necessary issues, Minister Ryan intends to bring forward amendments to the enabling primary legislation when the Road Traffic (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill is before the Oireachtas as soon as possible.

Experience overseas has shown that a change of regime may have consequences for road safety, the management of roads and footpaths, the movement of traffic, public transport and goods, public health and the environment. These are all factors which must be taken into consideration when legislating.

Until new legislation is in place, the use of electric scooters will remain illegal.

Driver Licences

Questions (48)

Noel Grealish

Question:

48. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Transport if there is a delay in the processing of driver licence renewals for both full and provisional licence holders; the average delay; the steps being taken to address a backlog, given the problems it is causing for persons waiting for their new licences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7835/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

All enquires relating to driver licensing are handled by the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS), provided by the Road Safety Authority (RSA). I have forwarded the Deputy's query to the RSA for direct reply. If he has not heard from them in 10 working days I would ask that he contact my office directly.

Due to the resurgence of Covid-19 in Europe as well as Ireland, possible further extensions ofdriving licences are currently under consideration at EU level. A decision on this issue is expected shortly.

Bus Éireann

Questions (49)

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

49. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Transport the details of the largest population centres in County Meath currently without a Bus Éireann service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7837/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. However, I am not involved in the day-to-day operations of public transport.

The issue raised is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA), in conjunction with Bus Éireann, and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for direct reply.

Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Public Transport

Questions (50, 51, 52, 53, 54)

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

50. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Transport the public transport services available in Kentstown, County Meath; the frequency of these services; his plans to improve these services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7838/21]

View answer

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

51. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Transport the public transport services available in Stamullen, County Meath; the frequency of these services; his plans to improve these services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7839/21]

View answer

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

52. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Transport the public transport services available in Carlanstown, County Meath; the frequency of these services; his plans to improve these services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7840/21]

View answer

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

53. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Transport the public transport services available in Skryne, County Meath; the frequency of these services; his plans to improve these services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7841/21]

View answer

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

54. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Transport the public transport services available in Kilcloon, County Meath; the frequency of these services; his plans to improve these services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7842/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 50 to 54, inclusive, together.

As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. However, I am not involved in the day-to-day operations of public transport.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for securing the provision of public passenger transport services nationally and for the scheduling of these services. Therefore, the issues raised are a matter for the NTA, and I have forwarded the Deputy's questions to the Authority for direct reply.

Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Road Network

Questions (55)

Brendan Smith

Question:

55. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Transport when he plans to make the allocations to local authorities in respect of the 2021 non-national roads programme; if he will ensure a substantial increase in the allocations to Cavan and Monaghan county councils in view of the particular importance of the road network in both counties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7843/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of each local authority in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from local authorities' own resources supplemented by State road grants.

Following the publication of the Revised Estimates Volume (REV), the allocation for regional and local roads in 2021 is €555 million approximately - €46m Current and €509m Capital.

My objective will be to allocate funding to eligible local authorities on as equitable a basis as possible taking the length of the road network and traffic factors into account. The main focus of the grants will continue to be maintenance and renewal of the regional and local road network.

Grant allocations for 2021 are being notified to local authorities this week.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Questions (56)

John Paul Phelan

Question:

56. Deputy John Paul Phelan asked the Minister for Finance if the CRSS will be extended beyond 31 March 2021 if Covid restrictions remain in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7490/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

The CRSS is a targeted support for businesses significantly impacted by restrictions introduced by the Government under public health regulations to combat the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The support is available to companies, self-employed individuals and partnerships who carry on a trade or trading activities, the profits from which are chargeable to tax under Case I of Schedule D, from a business premises located in a region subject to restrictions introduced in line with the Living with Covid-19 Plan.

Details of CRSS are set out in Finance Act 2020 and detailed operational guidelines, which are based on the terms and conditions of the scheme as set out in the legislation, have been published on the Revenue website at: https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/press-office/budget-information/2021/crss-guidelines.pdf

The CRSS is just one of the Government’s supports to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19. Businesses who are not eligible for CRSS may be entitled to alternative supports put in place by the Government, including the COVID Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) and the Tourism Business Continuity Scheme. Businesses may also be eligibleunder the Debt Warehousing Scheme to ‘park’ certain VAT and PAYE (Employer) liabilities, excess payments received under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS), outstanding balances of self-assessed Income Tax for 2019 and Preliminary Tax for 2020.

The legislation provides that the Scheme will run to 31 March 2021 but may be extended by Ministerial Order (subject to Dáil approval) but not later than 31 December 2021.

I will continue to work with Ministerial colleagues to ensure that appropriate supports are in place to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy and in the coming weeks a further assessment will be made, in accordance with the legislation, with a view to determining whether to extend the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme beyond the statutory end date of 31 March 2021.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Questions (57, 65)

John Paul Phelan

Question:

57. Deputy John Paul Phelan asked the Minister for Finance his plans to extend the stay and spend scheme into 2021 to support the hospitality sector once Covid restrictions are lifted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7507/21]

View answer

Noel Grealish

Question:

65. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Finance his plans to extend the largely unused stay and spend scheme to include takeaway food services from restaurants and businesses that are already registered providers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7504/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 57 and 65 together.

The purpose of the Stay and Spend scheme is to provide targeted support to businesses within the hospitality sector whose operations are likely to be most affected by continued restrictions on public health grounds.

In relation to take-aways, food and drink service providers that operate on a take-away basis are not likely to be as heavily affected by the current restrictions as service providers offering ‘dine-in’ food and drink services and so do not fall within the particular objectives of the scheme.

The Stay and Spend scheme was developed at a time when there appeared to be a steady downward trend in infection rates, and there was an expectation that the re-opening of the economy could be sustained uninterrupted. Unfortunately, this has not been the case and, thus far, with the exception of some short periods, public health restrictions have had the effect of impeding the operation of the incentive as originally envisaged. Stay and Spend is scheduled to operate until 30 April but the flexibility exists for me to extend its operation in 2021 beyond that date (to end 2021). It is too early as yet to take definitive decisions in that regard. Much will depend on how circumstances unfold in the months ahead. As I have said before, I will keep an eye on how matters develop and the role that the scheme might play and consider if any changes need to be made.

Finally, it is important also to recall that Stay and Spend should not be viewed in isolation from the other measures put in place to support businesses generally and the hospitality sector in particular.

In recognition of the unprecedented challenges facing the Hospitality and Tourism sector, the VAT rate was reduced from 13.5% to 9 % from 1 November 2020. This is a temporary measure to provide support to the sector, where many businesses remain closed for now and those that are open are operating at significantly reduced capacity, and will apply from 1 November 2020 to 31 December 2021.

The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) has been a key component of the Government’s response to the continued COVID-19 crisis to support viable firms and encourage employment in the hospitality and tourism sector and beyond. I have been clear that there will be no cliff-edge to the EWSS.

The Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) is a targeted support for businesses significantly impacted by restrictions introduced by the Government under public health regulations to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The support is available to companies, self-employed individuals and partnerships who carry on a trade or trading activities, the profits from which are chargeable to tax under Case I of Schedule D, from a business premises located in a region subject to restrictions introduced in line with the Living with COVID-19 Plan.

Businesses may also be eligible under the Debt Warehousing Scheme to ‘park’ certain VAT and PAYE (Employer) liabilities, excess payments received under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS), outstanding balances of self-assessed Income Tax for 2019 and Preliminary Tax for 2020.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Questions (58, 59, 71, 72, 74)

Bríd Smith

Question:

58. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the fact that businesses such as marketing agencies that operate in settings such as colleges and universities are currently not eligible for support under the Covid restrictions support scheme; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that although these companies' premises are not technically closed to the public, the locations in which they operate are significantly affected by Covid-19 restrictions, which has resulted in a substantial decline in revenue turnover; if the impact on these businesses will be examined with a view to extending the scheme to them to sustain them until students return to campus; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7578/21]

View answer

Jackie Cahill

Question:

59. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Finance if consideration will be given to including travel counsellors as those who qualify for access to the Covid restrictions support scheme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7641/21]

View answer

Brendan Griffin

Question:

71. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Finance if financial supports will be provided to travel agents (details supplied) that are not eligible for the Covid restrictions support scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7658/21]

View answer

Brendan Griffin

Question:

72. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Finance if further financial supports will be provided to businesses that were supplying businesses in the hospitality sector that are closed and are unable to qualify for the Covid restrictions support scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7663/21]

View answer

Joe Flaherty

Question:

74. Deputy Joe Flaherty asked the Minister for Finance if he will examine supports for the coach and transport sector (details supplied). [7690/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 58, 59, 71, 72 and 74 together.

The CRSS is a targeted support for businesses significantly impacted by restrictions introduced by the Government under public health regulations to combat the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The support is available to companies, self-employed individuals and partnerships who carry on a trade or trading activities, the profits from which are chargeable to tax under Case I of Schedule D, from a business premises located in a region subject to restrictions introduced in line with the Living with Covid-19 Plan.

Details of CRSS are set out in Finance Act 2020 and detailed operational guidelines, which are based on the terms and conditions of the scheme as set out in the legislation, have been published on the Revenue website at https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/press-office/budget-information/2021/crss-guidelines.pdf.

To qualify under the scheme a business must, under specific terms of the Covid restrictions, be required to either prohibit or significantly restrict, customers from accessing their business premises to acquire goods or services, with the result that the business either has to temporarily close or to operate at a significantly reduced level. For the purposes of CRSS, a qualifying “business premises” is a building or other similar fixed physical structure in which a business activity is ordinarily carried on.

A self-employed travel agent providing services from a home office, which is not customer-facing, will not meet the eligibility criteria.

Where a business does not ordinarily operate from a fixed business premises such as a coach operator, that business will not meet the eligibility criteria for CRSS. A fund of €10 million (Coach Tourism Business Continuity Scheme) was put in place by the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media to support the coach tourism sector.

It is not sufficient that the trade of a business has been impacted because of a reduction in customer demand as a consequence of Covid-19 such as college marketing businesses. The scheme only applies where, as a direct result of the specific terms of the Government restrictions, the business is required to either prohibit or significantly restrict access to its business premises.

Where a business supplies goods or services to businesses in the hospitality industry which, under the specific terms of the Covid restrictions, are required to prohibit or significantly restrict customers from accessing their business premises, it will not result in the supplier business being eligible to make a claim under CRSS. Each business must meet the qualification criteria in their own right.

I have no plans to change the eligibility criteria for the CRSS. The CRSS is just one of the Government’s supports to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19. Businesses who are not eligible for CRSS may be entitled to alternative supports put in place by the Government, including the COVID Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) and the Tourism Business Continuity Scheme. Businesses may also be eligible under the Debt Warehousing Scheme to ‘park’ certain VAT and PAYE (Employer) liabilities, excess payments received under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS), outstanding balances of self-assessed Income Tax for 2019 and Preliminary Tax for 2020.

I continue to work with Ministerial colleagues to ensure that appropriate supports are in place to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy. In this regard, Deputies may wish to note that earlier this week, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment announced a new €60m COVID-19 Business Aid Scheme (CBAS), which is being developed to assist businesses who are ineligible for the Government’s other existing schemes.

Disabled Drivers and Passengers Scheme

Questions (60)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

60. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Finance if a grant is available to the family of special needs children (details supplied) in County Kerry who cannot afford to purchase a vehicle; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7666/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

The Department of Finance does not provide any grants for the purchase of a vehicle but instead administers the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Scheme which provides relief from VAT and VRT (up to a certain limit) on the purchase of an adapted car for transport of a person with specific severe and permanent physical disabilities, payment of a Fuel Grant, and an exemption from Motor Tax. The limit of the remission or repayment of Value Added Tax and Vehicle Registration Tax cannot exceed €10,000, €16,000 or €22,000 and is based on the level of modification to the vehicle necessary.

To qualify for the Scheme an applicant must be in possession of a Primary Medical Certificate. The PMC is issued by the relevant Senior Medical Officer in the HSE, or failing that an appeal may be made to the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal.

Ports Facilities

Questions (61)

Brendan Smith

Question:

61. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Finance further to Parliamentary Question No. 94 of 21 January 2021, if urgent consideration will be given to concerns expressed by companies trading through Dublin Port (details supplied); if the necessary measures will be implemented to eliminate such delays; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7472/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

Since 1 January 2021 the UK has been outside the EU Single Market and Customs Union and this means that a range of customs formalities and other regulatory controls apply to goods moving to, from or through the United Kingdom, excluding Northern Ireland. There is no alternative to the implementation of these formalities and controls because they are an essential part of maintaining the integrity of the Single Market and the Customs Union, a vital consideration in the ability and entitlement of goods coming from Ireland to move freely within the European Union.

In preparation for the changes brought about by the UK’s departure from the EU, I am advised that Revenue carried out significant work to increase their IT systems’ capacity to cater for the increased level of trade with what is now a 3rd country and the consequent significantly increased volume of declarations.

Since 1 January 2021, I am advised that Revenue has been monitoring activity levels within their systems. They identified degradation in performance during times of peak processing resulting in delayed responses to declarations and other messages lodged by trade. One of the contributing factors for this is the growth in the business levels of large filers with lots of small consignments, a business model that has increased significantly with the move to online shopping since the start of the pandemic.

I know that Revenue acknowledges that a delay in processing creates difficulties for trade and business and that Revenue has apologised for the difficulties which have been caused for trade and business. I am advised that Revenue is working with its software provider to increase capacity at peak processing times. At the same time Revenue is working with large filers, to develop tailored solutions that will facilitate their business model and ensure that other goods traffic is not adversely impacted by peak load processing delays. I am informed by Revenue that this approach is working well and that processing delays at peak times have been reduced and that Revenue is continuing to focus on further improvements in the performance of its import system.

I understand from Revenue that businesses can pre-lodge their customs declarations up to 30 days in advance. This facilitates those who are in possession of all necessary information to file their declarations well in advance of the arrival of their goods ensuring they will be unaffected by peak load processing. I would encourage businesses that are in a position to do so, to file their customs declarations as early as possible. This will minimise any potential for processing delays.

I am advised that Revenue continues to actively monitor their system’s performance and to take appropriate action so that businesses can continue to move goods. Revenue staff are working in the ports on a 24/7 basis to assist businesses and Revenue also operates a Customs 24/7 Helpline on 01 7383685.

Banking Sector

Questions (62, 63)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Question:

62. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Finance if clarity will be provided regarding a bank (details supplied) and its plan to continue operations in Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7475/21]

View answer

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Question:

63. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Finance the safeguards in place in the event of a bank (details supplied) ceasing operations in Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7476/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 62 and 63 together.

As the Deputy will be aware, I have met with representatives from both Ulster Bank and its parent company, NatWest in recent months. My most recent meeting was with the Chair of NatWest on the 17 December where I emphasised that Ulster Bank is an important part of the Irish banking landscape and I reiterated the importance of timely and direct communication between staff, their representatives and management throughout the review, especially if there are any developments. I outlined that I expected that any decisions arising from the review will be swiftly communicated to staff, customers and other stakeholders.

I also met with representatives of Ulster Bank on 21 October. Ulster Bank has confirmed that the strategic review is ongoing and that no decisions have yet been taken. Ulster Bank also confirmed that there is no set timetable for this review and that it is fully aware of the strategically important role that Ulster Bank plays in the provision of financial services to the Irish market.

I emphasised the importance of Ulster Bank to the Irish financial services market, to the wider economy and to the communities it serves. News of the review is, of course, unsettling for all stakeholders, especially the staff and customers.

The continued presence of a viable and active Ulster Bank in the Irish market would be the most welcome outcome. However, as the Deputy will be aware, I have no formal role in the commercial decisions of Ulster Bank, these are a matter for the Board and Management of the Bank and its parent company, NatWest.

While I will have further engagement with the bank as the review process continues, I would like to emphasise that I have no role in the review or any commercial decisions arising from it. My officials will continue to monitor developments.

In the event of any credit institution withdrawing from the Irish market, such a withdrawal must be undertaken in accordance with the provisions of Irish financial services legislation, including the Central Bank’s codes of conduct, specifically, provision 3.11 of the statutory Consumer Protection Code 2012.

Under provision 3.11, where a regulated entity intends to cease operating, merge with another, or to transfer all or part of its regulated activities to another regulated entity it must:

a. notify the Central Bank immediately;

b. provide at least two months notice to affected consumers to enable them to make alternative arrangements;

c. ensure all outstanding business is properly completed prior to the transfer, merger or cessation of operations or, alternatively in the case of a transfer or merger, inform the consumer of how continuity of service will be provided following the transfer or merger; and

d. in the case of a merger or transfer of regulated activities, inform the consumer that their details are being transferred to the other regulated entity, if that is the case.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Question No. 65 answered with Question No. 57.

Questions (64)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

64. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Finance if consideration will be given to supports for businesses that began trading in 2020 but which, as a result of level 5 restrictions, are not able to show turnover for the required months to qualify for the current supports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7479/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

The CRSS is a targeted support for businesses significantly impacted by restrictions introduced by the Government under public health regulations to combat the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The support is available to companies, self-employed individuals and partnerships who carry on a trade or trading activities, the profits from which are chargeable to tax under Case I of Schedule D, from a business premises located in a region subject to restrictions introduced in line with the Living with Covid-19 Plan.

Details of CRSS are set out in Finance Act 2020 and detailed operational guidelines, which are based on the terms and conditions of the scheme as set out in the legislation, have been published on the Revenue website at:

https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/press-office/budget-information/2021/crss-guidelines.pdf

To qualify under the scheme a business must, under specific terms of the Covid restrictions, be required to either prohibit or significantly restrict, customers from accessing their business premises to acquire goods or services, with the result that the business either has to temporarily close or to operate at a significantly reduced level. A business must be able to demonstrate that, because of the Covid restrictions, the turnover of the qualifying activity (“relevant business activity”) during the period of restrictions will be no more than 25% of the “relevant turnover amount”.

The “relevant turnover amount” is calculated by reference to a business’s average weekly turnover for the relevant business activity in a prior period, the identification of which period depends on whether the business is an “established business” or a “new business”. An established business is a business that commenced trading prior to 26 December 2019. The relevant turnover amount for a “new business”, i.e. a business commenced by a person between 26 December 2019 and 12 October 2020, is based on the average weekly turnover of the business in the period from commencement to 12 October 2020.

The Employment Wage Subsidy scheme (EWSS) was legislated for under the Financial Provisions (Covid-19) (No. 2) Act 2020. The EWSS delivers an enterprise support to employers based on business eligibility delivering a per-head subsidy on a flat rate basis.

The EWSS is administered by Revenue on a 'self-assessment' basis. The eligibility criteria for EWSS states that in addition to having tax clearance for the duration of the scheme, an employer must be able to demonstrate that their business is expected to experience a 30% reduction in turnover or orders between 1 July and 31 December 2020 for 2020 paydates and between 1 January to 30 June 2021 for 2021 paydates, looking at the period as a whole rather than on a monthly basis; and this disruption is caused by COVID-19.

For 2020 paydates, this reduction in turnover or orders was relative to:

- the same period in 2019 where the business was in existence prior to 1 July 2019;

- where the business commenced trading between 1 July and 1 November 2019, the date of commencement to 31 December 2019; or

- where a business commenced after 1 November 2019, the projected turnover or orders for 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020.

For 2021 paydates, this reduction in turnover or orders is relative to:

- the same period in 2019 where the business was in existence prior to 1 January 2019;

- where the business commenced trading between 1 January and 1 May 2019, the date of commencement to 30 June 2019; or

- where a business commenced after 1 May 2019, the projected turnover or orders for 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021.

Employers are required to undertake a review on the last day of every month, as was the case from the commencement of the Scheme, to ensure they continue to meet the above eligibility criteria. Employers who, following a monthly review, find they no longer qualify should deregister for EWSS with immediate effect i.e. from the 1st of the following month. Furthermore, the employer should ensure there is a reasonable and durable basis to the eligibility review carried out as regards the potential drop in turnover or orders.

Guidelines on the operation of the EWSS including comprehensive information on employer eligibility and supporting proofs is available on the Revenue website at:

https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/communications/documents/ewss-guidelines.pdf

I am satisfied that the current configuration of the schemes fully takes account of the changing environment around living with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Question No. 65 answered with Question No. 57.