Written answers

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Department of Trade, Enterprise and Employment

Covid-19 Pandemic

Photo of Ruairi Ó MurchúRuairi Ó Murchú (Louth, Sinn Fein)
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94. To ask the Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment the supports in place for casual traders that pay a casual trading fee and remain closed due to restrictions to ensure they have a business to reopen once restrictions are lifted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35121/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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My Department has put a range of enterprise measures in place for businesses that require finance as they develop a response to their exposure to impacts arising from COVID-19. The uptake of these supports has been robust and indicates that businesses are taking action in response to this period of disruption.

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. The measures in the Budget are in addition to those announced in the July Stimulus, including the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), cash for businesses, low cost loans, commercial rates waivers and deferred tax liabilities.

As part of Budget 2021, the new COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), is now operational through Revenue and offers a targeted, timely and temporary sector-specific support to businesses forced to close or trade at significantly reduced levels due to COVID of up to €5,000 per week.

As a result of the fact that businesses have to close, we are making changes to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and the EWSS. The new payment structure for the PUP includes the increase in the top rate to €350 for those who were earning in excess of €400 per week. This change to payment rates will apply in respect of all existing and new applicants.

The EWSS is also being amended to align with the amendment to PUP, with the top payment increasing to €350 for those earning over €400.

We are providing more and cheaper loan finance through MicroFinance Ireland, SBCI and the new €2bn Credit Guarantee Scheme.

We have implemented a six-month reduction in the VAT, going down from 23% to 21%, a reduction in the 13.5% VAT rate to 9%, together with a range of additional public capital investment measures to support the domestic economy.

These supports are supplementary to the wide range of existing loan and voucher schemes available to assist businesses affected by COVID-19 provided through the July Jobs Stimulus and other Government initiatives.


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