Ministers have agreed a €3.6 billion package of spending supports and measures to boost the economy as it slowly emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) will be closed to new entrants from July while a reduction in rates is expected to begin at the start of September.
People on the highest rate, €350 per week, will see their payment cut to €300, while those in receipt of €300 per week will have their payment reduced to €250. The lowest rate, €250 per week, will come into line with the jobseekers’ allowance of €203.
The Emergency Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) will be extended until the end of the year.
Homes built after 2013 will be liable for local property tax under plans set to be approved by Cabinet today.
The change is likely to come into effect next year, bringing in taxation for around 100,000 homes which are not currently eligible.
The valuation point for the tax will be November 2021.
Vaccines at pharmacies
The Covid vaccination programme will be extended to pharmacies later this month.
It is expected that pharmacists will administer a “small amount” of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine to eligible over-50s.
Meanwhile, the vaccine registration process will open for those aged 40 to 44 from Wednesday.
Hospitality reopening and street gatherings
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has ruled out a fast-tracked reopening of hospitality after crowds of people gathered on city streets in Dublin, Cork and Galway over the weekend.
Outdoor hospitality businesses such as bars and restaurants are set to reopen from bank holiday Monday, June 7th.
Hotels are preparing to open from Wednesday, in advance of the bank holiday weekend.
Medics have reported what they believe to be the first case of Covid reinfection in the Republic of Ireland.
In a paper published in the new edition of the Irish Medical Journal (IMJ), medics report that a 40-year-old female health care worker contracted Covid-19 seven months after first falling ill with the disease last year.
No more school closures?
School closures for snow, bad weather and other unexpected reasons could become a thing of the past, the Department of Education has indicated.
The Irish Times reports today that remote learning and supports could be provided to children in these circumstances using technology similar to that pioneered during the Covid-19 pandemic.