Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (64, 80)

Paul McAuliffe

Ceist:

64. Deputy Paul McAuliffe asked the Minister for Finance if taxi drivers will be transferred to the employment wage subsidy scheme in view of the fact that the income from their business has been greatly reduced and once they return to work they are no longer eligible for the pandemic unemployment payment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25970/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

80. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Finance if he will meet with the four taxi representative groups (details supplied) to discuss a wage subsidy scheme for their industry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26719/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 64 and 80 together.

Bearing in mind my schedule in the run up to the Budget, I would be happy to arrange a meeting between senior officials from my Department and the groups mentioned.   

However, I would also like to inform the Deputy that I am aware already of the concerns that have been raised from a number of quarters regarding the pace of recovery for certain sectors of the economy and that it has been suggested that the application of the EWSS should be delineated on the basis of explicit sectoral qualification criteria. 

At the same time, the reality of COVID-19 is that our whole economy and labour market have been rapidly transformed by this unprecedented shock and nearly all sectors have been negatively impacted either directly or indirectly. 

The EWSS has therefore been deliberately designed as an economy wide measure that is open to all sectors as was the case for the TWSS before it.

The availability of the support by reference to a turnover test means that the scheme can be applied across the whole economy while at the same time remain targeted at employers who are considered to be most in need of support.

For those businesses who need further support, there are a number of options open to them – including State backed loans which may be repaid using EWSS funds as well as grants.  Particular attention is drawn to the comprehensive package of business and employer supports that have been made available as part of the July Stimulus Plan - including the Credit Guarantee Scheme, the SBCI Working Capital Scheme, Sustaining Enterprise Fund, and the Covid-19 Business Loans Scheme.

The ongoing economic impact will continue to be monitored closely, as will the recovery.