01 Jun 2021 | 12.23 pm
Govt. Details Changes To Business Supports
PUP cuts from September 7
01 Jun 2021 | 12.23 pm
The government has announced that the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme will be extended beyond 30 June until 31 December 2021. However, changes are on the way.
Current payment rates will be maintained for Quarter 3 (July, August, September) at current turnover thresholds, said an official statement.
The time period for assessment will be broadened from the current 6-month period of assessment to a full 12-month period. Companies claiming EWSS in Q3 will have to show an expectation of 30% turnover decline for FY2021 v FY 2019.
In Q4, EWSS will be tapered. An employer contribution to employee wages under the scheme “will be considered, alongside the issue of the appropriate calibration of rates of subsidy for that quarter”.
• The Covid-19 Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) will be extended beyond 30 June until the end of 2021. As firms exit the scheme, there will be an enhanced restart payment of three weeks at double rate of payment. The maximum restart payment will be increased to €10,000 per week, allowing businesses to receive up to a maximum of €30,000.
• There is a new €11.5m fund for the entertainment industry, including festivals, conferencing and large events. The Events Sector Covid Support Scheme (ESCSS) will support SMEs which are not eligible for the CRSS. Details are still being worked through.
• Government is promising a new business support scheme, the Business Resumption Support Scheme. This will be rolled out in September to aid businesses with significantly reduced turnover as a result of public health restrictions. Details have not yet been announced.
• The Commercial Rates Waiver will be extended in its current form beyond 30 June to the end of September.
• The Tax Debt Warehousing Scheme will be extended to the end of 2021 for all eligible taxpayers, with an interest free period during 2022. Companies will have to start paying back Covid-related liabilities from January 2023. Over-payments of Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme will now also be included in the scheme.
• Outlining details of the National Recovery Plan 2021, Taoiseach Micheál Martin pledged that the lower tourism VAT rate of 9% will be extended until September 2022.
• Local authorities and Fáilte Ireland will partner for delivery of a new Outdoor Service Enhancement Scheme. It is expected that eligible pubs will be able to apply payments of up to €4,000, the same as restaurants can receive under the Outdoor Dining Enhancement Scheme. Details have yet to be finalised.
• For the live performance sector, the new Music and Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme (MEBAS) opens for applications on 9 June. This payment is targeted at helping bands, musicians, suppliers and music businesses. Payment levels range from €2,500 to €5,000. The first allocations under the €25m Live Performance Support Scheme (LPSS) are due to be announced shortly.
• Martin urged micro enterprises to avail of the Small Business Assistance Scheme for Covid-19 (SBASC), which was introduced to help businesses not eligible for CRSS, the Tourism Business Continuity Scheme or other direct sectoral grant schemes, to provide grant aid to assist with fixed costs.
Eligibility for the SBASC for Q2 applications has been broadened in two ways. Where businesses have a minimum turnover of €50,000 they can benefit from a €4,000 grant. This now includes businesses in non-rated premises, thereby benefitting self-employed people working from home, who meet all other eligibility criteria.
SBASC also provides for a grant of €1,000 for businesses with a minimum turnover of €20,000 and a maximum turnover of €50,000.
• The right of an employee to trigger a redundancy claim following of lay-off or short time work due to Covid has been suspended again until 30 September 2021. However government has signalled that there will be no further deferrals after that date.
When the suspension is lifted, eligible employees will be able to avail of their entitlement to make a claim for redundancy to their employer.
According to government officials, businesses with verified financial difficulties caused by the Covid emergency measures will be supported as they deal with statutory redundancy costs through the provision of a ‘Covid-19 Deferred Payment’ arrangement. Details of this have yet to be worked through.
• The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) will be extended in full for existing claimants beyond 30 June to 7 September. The scheme will close to new applicants from 1 July.
The current weekly rates of PUP support will be reduced over three phases by €50 increments. The first phase of rate changes will apply from 7 September. Two further phases of changes will take place on 16 November and 8 February 2022.
PUP payments to students will terminate on 7 September.
• The Enterprise Support Grant of €1,000 for self-employed people returning to work will also be continued to assist self-employed sole traders, leaving PUP, to meet restart costs.
Photo: Taoiseach Micheál Martin (left) with ministers Eamon Ryan (centre) and Leo Varadkar. (Pic: RollingNews.ie)