Thursday, 18 February 2021
Covid-19 (Enterprise, Trade and Employment): Statements
Louise O'Reilly (Dublin Fingal, Sinn Fein)
I would dispute the use of the word "flexible" and I do not believe that is what people want. I used to represent home helps and employers were always telling me that they did not like to be tied down with anything awkward like a contract. Believe me, workers like being tied down with a contract. They like having that contract codified, particularly in these times, in terms of their entitlement to sick pay and all of those other things that those of us who are properly employed regard as the absolute basic minimum.
I ask the Minister about the Covid restrictions support scheme, CRSS, and the Covid-19 business aid scheme, CBAS. At the Joint Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment in October I outlined the issues with regard to the exclusion of many businesses from the scheme. I asked that these schemes be expanded to cater for those excluded businesses. In November, Teachta Doherty highlighted the limitations of the CRSS directly to the Minister for Finance. Following on from the debate at the Joint Committee on Enterprise, Trade and Employment I wrote to the Minister restating my concerns about the scheme. I further outlined the businesses and the sectors that have been excluded. The announcement of the new CBAS was welcome, and we welcomed it at the time. It offered hope to some businesses but there are still businesses that are excluded. I recently heard Paddy Cullivan speak on Today FM about his own business. He is excluded because he does not have a rateable premises. In the interests of protecting as many businesses as possible I ask the Minister to examine those businesses whose turnover has fallen by 75%, that are excluded from both the CRSS and the CBAS but which nonetheless want to ensure they can keep their businesses viable. I note the Minister calls it the CBAS but the CBAS is only a cod if it does not deliver for those businesses that really need it.