Covid-related supports for businesses to be set out by month end
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath has said Covid-related supports for businesses and individuals beyond June will be laid out by Government by the end of this month.
He said the Government will give careful consideration to Covid-19 supports provided, and reiterated there will not be any cliff edge for people or their business.
Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week, he said the unwinding of the “emergency type expenditures” needs to be done in a careful and gradual way.
“It is certainly the case their job may not return by the end of June and Government will take that into account.”
He said the Government will also take into account of the timetable, which is now in place for the next couple of months, in relation to reopening.
However, he also noted that over the medium to long term maintaining the current level of support is not sustainable.
“We need to carefully balance the range of considerations.”
He said it is expected that as parts of the economy open and tens of
thousands of people return to work that will have a positive impact.
In relation to the Wage Subsidy Scheme, Mr McGrath said 3,000 jobs are being directly supported through that scheme and that needs to be carefully calibrated.
“There are a number of factors that need to be weighed up”, adding that the “overall objective is to support the economy.”
He said the Government would not rule out a voucher scheme to assist the hospitality sector during the pandemic.
However, he said if additional resources are provided, what must be taken into consideration is when is the most opportune time for this.
He suggested that would be the off-peak seasons, as many in the sector have said that is when they will need the support most.
Mr McGrath said Ireland is participating in negotiations at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) level, where there is a multilateral effort to agree reforms of how multi-national corporations are taxed.
“Any changes that take place, we see them originating in that sphere. We are confident about the recovery of the Irish economy and that has already started.”
He said he believes it will gather pace over the coming months and, he said, significant savings have been accumulated with “pent up demand that will be unleashed on the Irish economy”.
“Looking at all the international forecasts and domestic forecasts they are very strong.”
He said with regard to managing public finances, the Government has drawn a clear separation between day to day expenditure and Covid-19 expenditure and Covid-19 spending will wind down in time.
He said the Government is predicting expenditure will be sustained with steady increases over the next couple of years.
“Once we make sensible decisions we can get through this and bring about economic recovery”, he said.