Donegal TD Pearse Doherty is calling for a new Income Support Scheme to support workers and families during the Covid-19 emergency.
The proposal, announced today, would see workers who earn up to €32,500 a year receiving their full wage for the next 20 weeks.
Deputy Doherty, who is the Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance said that extraordinary measures are required in extraordinary times.
He said that the €203 weekly unemployment payment implemented by the government is not enough for families who still need to pay bills and feed their children.
Doherty said: “Sinn Féin is proposing the immediate introduction of an Income Support Scheme to pay all workers who are laid off as a result of the Covid-19 crisis their income up to €525 per week for 20 weeks. The scheme will be applied retrospectively from 9th March.
“This will benefit every worker and would mean that every worker who earns up to €32,500 a year would receive their full wage.
“Those earning above this amount will also have this support, and the scheme would allow for employer top-ups to supplement their income.
“Pro-rata rates would apply to those who have had their hours reduced and the self-employed are also included in the scheme.
“It is proposed that this scheme will be paid through the employer, who would maintain workers on the payroll in order to avail of the scheme and they would be reimbursed by the State.”
Doherty said his party is also calling on the European Investment Bank to “step up to the plate” and allow businesses to access zero interest loans to cover costs during this crisis.
“This would be based on the employer maintaining workers on the payroll and re-employing them,” he said.
“This is an important intervention which would give workers and families some level of security during this crisis and also allow the maximum number of businesses to survive.
“It would also put us in a stronger position to rebuild the economy and society on the far side of this crisis.”