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Existing rates of Wage Subsidy Scheme must be extended until at least 31st March - Pearse Doherty TD

6 January, 2021 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance, Pearse Doherty TD, has called on the Government to maintain the current rates of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme until at least 31st March, in order to provide certainty to workers and businesses in light of the current Level 5 restrictions.

The current rates are due to be substantially cut from the 1st February.

Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:

“The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme is currently paid at rates of up to €350 a week in order to support workers and employers.

“These rates are due to be significantly cut after January 31st by over 40% for workers and businesses.

“To do so during these Level 5 restrictions, many of which could continue into February, is reckless, and would lead to increased job losses.

“Given the uncertainty of the duration of the current restrictions, the Government must provide certainty to employers and their workers that the Wage Subsidy Scheme will not be cut at a time when they need it most.

“Otherwise, weekly wage subsidies will be cut for up to a quarter of a million employees.

“If restrictions were to remain in place beyond January 31st forcing businesses to remain closed, these cuts would inevitably lead to widespread job loss.

“Given the uncertainty, and the fact the current rates of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment are to be extended to March 31st, the Government should extend the current rates of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme to at least March 31st.

“To provide certainty to workers and businesses, the Government must give this assurance without delay.”

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