The Government has announced a €4bn package to support businesses and workers through the coming weeks of the COVID-19 crisis.
In an announcement at Government Buildings, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it was essential to “maintain social solidarity and a sense of community in this time of trial.”
He said a Wage Subsidy Scheme was being introduced to encourage employers and companies badly affected by the emergency to keep staff on the payroll.
The scheme will see the State co-funding up to 70% of salaries up to a maximum of €38,000 per year.
“For a salary of €38,000, the subsidy would equate to €410 per week in take-home pay,” said Mr Varadkar.
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He said the COVID-19 unemployment payment would also be raised to €350 per week, “in recognition of the fact that so many fellow citizens have lost their jobs so suddenly.”
He said the payment is equal to around 75% of the average earnings in the worst-affected sectors and “compares favourably with what is being done in other jurisdictions.”
Here's a summary of the government's financial support scheme pic.twitter.com/XonP5C4SkB
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Meanwhile the COVID-19 Illness benefit available to people who are self-isolating will also be increase to €350 per week. Employers are permitted to top-up the payment with private funds.
“The cost of all of this will be great. Many billions of Euros in the coming months.”
“But we can bear it and we will be able to pay it back as a nation. We do so willingly because it is the right thing to do and because we owe it to our fellow citizens.”
He said maintaining the link between employers and staff will make it easier for the country to bounce back when the crisis is over.
More information on the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment can be found here