The rescue and restructuring scheme was put in place for "Undertakings in Difficulty" and operates under the EU Rescue and Restructuring Guidelines. Under the scheme, an undertaking is considered to be in difficulty when, without intervention by the State, it will almost certainly be condemned to going out of business in the short or medium term
This scheme was developed as it was considered prudent to have contingency measures in place so that my Department can respond swiftly to changing circumstances, as necessary. There are many other supports in place that enterprises can avail of which should prevent them from reaching the point where they are in severe difficulty and at risk of going out of business. However, we also recognise the ongoing uncertainty around Brexit and therefore this scheme is part of a belt and braces approach to supporting enterprise.
The Rescue and Restructuring scheme was originally approved by the EU Commission in November 2017 and was subsequently extended in May 2018 to include Temporary Restructuring Support for enterprises experiencing acute liquidity constraints. Temporary Restructuring provides for earlier intervention than is allowable under Rescue and Restructuring, thus increasing our flexibility to provide targeted support to SMEs as required.
The original budget for the scheme was €20m. In February 2019, the Commission approved an amendment to the Irish Rescue and Restructuring scheme to increase its budget from €20m to €200m. The decision to increase the budget, which was made following discussions at the Irish/EU Technical Working Group on State Aid, is considered prudent as part of our overall contingency plan for Brexit.