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Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 3 February 2021

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Ceisteanna (17)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

17. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if his attention has been drawn to a tailored support package available to the weddings industry in Scotland (details supplied); and his plans to introduce a similar package here. [5367/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Enterprise)

We know the significant effects on business of the current Level 5 restrictions. Budget 2021 provides 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.

My Department and its agencies have been focused on coming up with solutions to help businesses overcome the difficulties caused by COVID-19. 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/.

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.

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.

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. A self-employed person who closes their PUP should send their grant application to their local Intreo Centre to be processed.  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 acknowledge the issue whereby businesses might not be eligible for the CRSS or other measures announced in the budget, such as the €50 million fund for live entertainment.  I have asked my officials to work with other relevant Departments to identify the type and number of businesses that fall outside the scope of the CRSS, and to report back to me with proposals on how we could devise an amended or new scheme.

My colleagues, 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 a roadmap to recovery for the events and hospitality industry, and details on supports for the food sector respectively.

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