Enhanced supports for businesses who qualify for the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) have been announced by the Government.
The changes will apply for December and January to assist businesses impacted by ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, particularly the late night and live entertainment industries.
The enhanced supports will mean the higher subsidy rates will remain in place until the end of January.
The end-date for the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) has also been pushed back to January 31st "to align with the requirement for nightclubs and discos to close until January 9th under the Health Regulations," a statement from the Department of Finance said.
Ministers @Paschald and @mmcgrathtd have today announced plans for enhanced support for businesses who qualify for the EWSS & an extension of the end-date of the CRSS to 31st Jan 2022.
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— Department of Finance (@IRLDeptFinance) December 9, 2021
The Government approved a proposal to modify the CRSS on Friday, December 3rd, however, "on further consideration and analysis of the available data, it proved to be administratively very complex to design such a scheme and it would not be possible to have it operational ahead of Christmas as had been intended," the department said.
In lieu of this plan, the decision was taken to extend the EWSS, with Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath describing it as a "relatively more efficient and effective way to support affected businesses in the short term".
It was also confirmed that from February 1st the original two-rate EWSS structure (€203 or €151.50 per week) will apply, with the rate falling to €100 per week in March and April before it ends on April 30th.
The department added the amendment to the Finance Bill 2021 will be brought to the Seanad next week to allow the changes to take affect.