A new Employment Wage Support Scheme and extension of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment into next year will provide much-needed certainty to businesses and individuals in Donegal, Fine Gael TD for Donegal Joe McHugh has said.
Speaking after the Government’s July Stimulus package was announced, Mr McHugh said the new €7.4bn suite of measures will help get Donegal’s businesses back on their feet and get as many people as possible back to work quickly while continuing to manage the impact of Covid-19.
The TD said the package will help businesses and create jobs, support all get back to work - especially young people, build confidence and invest in communities and prepare Ireland for a sustainable economy in the future.
The package also contains a €20m Brexit fund to help businesses involved in exporting and importing with the UK and further afield to equip themselves for new customs arrangements from next January.
“Covid-19 has had an enormous impact on communities, businesses, families and individuals across Donegal,” he said.
“Our absolute aim and priority is the wellbeing of every person and community in Donegal and all over Ireland.
“I’m pleased to confirm a new Employment Wage Support Scheme will succeed the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and run until April 2021,” he said.
“Employers in Donegal whose turnover has fallen 30% will receive a flat-rate subsidy of up to €203 per week per employee, including for seasonal staff and new employees.
“New firms operating in impacted sectors will also be eligible. The scheme will support around 350,000 jobs into the beginning of next year.
“The restart grant for enterprises will benefit a range of SMEs. It will be expanded by €300m bringing the total funding to €550m. The payment level is being increased to €25,000. Further payments may be available to those firms which have already received them. Other businesses, such as B&Bs across Donegal, not previously included in the scheme, will now be eligible.”
Businesses forced to close due to public health requirements will be granted a waiver of commercial rates for the six months to end-September 2020.
The TD said those without work, especially young people, need as much support as possible.
“The Pandemic Unemployment Payment, due to end in August 2020, is being extended until April 2021. We know that this is extremely helpful to those not working. We have heard that testimony repeatedly. This will provide security for households across our County as job opportunities return.
“To help restore consumer confidence and support retailers and businesses across Donegal there will be a six-month reduction in the standard rate of VAT from 23pc to 21pc, from the beginning of September.
Stay and Spend incentive
“Our tourism sector has been crippled by Covid-19. A new Stay and Spend incentive will allow any taxpayer who pays over €625 on accommodation, food and non-alcoholic drinks, between October and April 2021, claim back up to €125 through a tax credit.
“Housing is a priority for this Government and further levels of support under the Help to Buy Scheme at a cost of €18m will be made available.
“Until the end of this year, buyers will be able to reclaim up to 10pc, or a maximum of €30,000 of the price of a new build, up from 5pc or €20,000 previously.
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