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Government’s new Employment Wage Subside Scheme took effect overnight

It's set to cost the taxpayer at least €2.25 billion between now & March 2021

The governments new Employment Wage Subsidy scheme will cost the taxpayer at least €2.25 billion between now and the end of March next year.

It took effect overnight, and replaces the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme set up in March to help struggling during Covid-19.

Firms seeking to apply face stricter criteria than under the previous scheme, while the top subsidy rate for workers is down from €410 per week to €203.

Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Sean Fleming, says it’s aimed at getting people back to work noting “Now that the economy over the months has started to reopen and there are more people back at work now than there were last March & there are some people not back at work so it’s important that the scheme from today to the end of next March reflect the actual current employment situation over the next six or seven months rather than the situation in the last six or seven months”.

But Sinn Fein’s finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty, says there are a number of issues with the new scheme commenting “We’re concerned in relation to the timeline and the lag that may be there for these companies to get the tax clearance certificate and that’s something we’re engaged with the revenue and the department in relation to, probably the other concerns we have is that so many of the lower paid workers are excluded from the scheme”.

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