Written answers

Thursday, 29 April 2021

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Photo of Marian HarkinMarian Harkin (Sligo-Leitrim, Independent)
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2. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if he will consider a once-off grant payment to the hair and beauty sector (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22416/21]

Photo of Damien EnglishDamien English (Meath West, Fine Gael)
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I am keenly aware that businesses are continuing to make massive sacrifices to protect their communities. Following the advice of NPHET, the Government made the decision to move the entire country to Level 5 of the Framework for Living with COVID-19 (COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021: The Path Ahead) and for essential retail and services (including childcare) to remain open.

This has been followed by the recent Government announcement of a phased easing of public health restrictions that commenced on 12thApril. The current public health measures will remain in place until 4 May. Government will meet in advance of that date to review the level of restrictions.

These decisions are not taken lightly, and the Government has worked to support businesses through this difficult time with a comprehensive range of measures for firms of all sizes. Details of the wide range of COVID-19 schemes and measures for businesses are available on my Department’s website at .

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 was introduced in Budget 2021. The measures include the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), now extended until the 30thof June, the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), the COVID-19 Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), and the Small Business Assistance Scheme for COVID (SBASC), low-cost loans, the deferral and warehousing of tax liabilities and the waiver of commercial rates.

The CRSS has provided vital support to businesses that have been forced to close or restrict access to their premises on foot of public health regulations. As we slowly and carefully start to reopen the economy, the Government has agreed to the extension of the CRSS until 30thof June 2021. There is provision in the CRSS for a “restart week” which allows a business to claim for an extra week upon reopening after restrictions are lifted, which will be of particular benefit as businesses start to re-open.

The Government are committed that there will be no cliff-edge end to the economic supports at the end of June. Government recognises that re-opening will be costly and will pose new challenges that will need to be sustained by continued supports and corrective measures to get the balance right between supporting recovery and cost to the Exchequer, and plans for this are currently in development.


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