Dáil debates

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Covid-19 (Enterprise, Trade and Employment): Statements


3:20 pm

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

Some of these issues were raised and answered earlier and I do not want to use up my time giving the same answers again. When it comes to the pandemic unemployment payment people are allowed to do some work and not lose the payment. I do not think it is just restricted to musicians. I think it is more general. Off the top of my head, I think people can earn up to as much as €480 a month and still retain the pandemic unemployment payment but I will double-check it. Certainly the Department of Social Protection can do it for us.

Home-based businesses are eligible for the employment wage subsidy scheme, and those who run them or work in them are also eligible for the pandemic unemployment payment. They are not eligible for CRSS or CBAS because they are for fixed costs. The general view is that people who have a home business make not have very large fixed costs. They will have some but they might not be that large, although in some cases that probably is not the case, especially if people have vehicles. We are open to schemes that might help vehicle-based businesses and home-based businesses with their fixed costs.

We need to be very clear the schemes the Government puts in place are to help with fixed costs, not to compensate for lost profits or income.

On the Deputy's suggestion on Amazon, it is investing significantly in Ireland. It employs thousands of people and is building new logistics centres here. We should seize the opportunity to encourage more Irish-based producers and companies to get on Amazon. It is something I will take up with its representatives the next time I meet them.


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