Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Minimum payment of €350 for workers must be introduced for the Wage Subsidy Scheme - Pearse Doherty

7 April, 2020 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has called for reform of the Wage Subsidy Scheme to ensure that workers receive a minimum payment of at least €350 per week.

Under current arrangements, many workers are being paid less than the €350 they would receive through the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

He said:

"The current design of the Wage Subsidy Scheme is deeply flawed, with both workers and business representatives calling for anomalies to be addressed.

"Because employees are only required to pay 70% of employees wages, workers with weekly take home pay of less than €500 are receiving less than the €350 they would receive from the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

"One of the core objectives of the scheme is to maintain a relationship between workers and employers, but figures published this week show that more than half a million people are in receipt of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment whilst only 130,000 workers are currently qualified for the Wage Subsidy Scheme.

"If employers and their workers do not sign up for the scheme, we are at risk of deepening this recession and increasing long-term unemployment.

"This requires immediate attention and further delay is not an option.

"Sinn Féin proposed a wage subsidy scheme that would guarantee 100% of take home pay up to a maximum of €525 per week and would have avoided the flaws that have now come to pass.

"Last week, I contacted the Minister for Finance and Revenue calling for the scheme to be reformed by ensuring that €350 is the minimum payment that workers will receive. I am calling on them again to address this issue urgently."

Connect with Sinn Féin