The Taoiseach has said that Covid-19 support payments will probably be extended as the government works to ease restrictions.
More than 20,000 people across Donegal are now dependant on the payments because of the lockdown.
Speaking on the Late Late Show tonight, Mr Varadkar said that these payments cannot last indefinitely, but they will be extended until an alternative is available.
Mr Varadkar said: “Neither the wage subsidy scheme nor the Covid payment can last forever, but it wouldn’t be right to unwind it before those sectors can actually reopen.
“My anticipation is that it will have to be extended, but as sectors reopen and perhaps we can unwind it, then people have the opportunity at least to go back to work.”
He said a cabinet meeting will be held tomorrow to decide how to help businesses reopen.
“We know businesses are going to need a bit of cash to reopen, they’re going to need access to credit so we are going to help them reopen.”
More than 400,000 workers have signed up for the Irish government’s wage subsidy scheme for businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, up from less than 350,000 at the start of the week.
The government agreed last month to pay 70% of wages up to a maximum of €410 a week for an initial 12-week period.
The Government also today signed off on a €6.5bn package of new supports to help businesses reopen as Covid-19 restrictions are slowly lifted.
Speaking at a Government press briefing, Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe said it was to help businesses in the “gradual recovery phase”.
“Today the Government has now agreed further supports to rebuild jobs and rebuild businesses as our public health guidance changes,” he added.
The minister said these new measures would build on what has already been done to help businesses.
“They involve up to €2bn in guaranteed loans to help our small and medium businesses and enterprises.
“Up to €2bn of equity and other investment available to medium and larger companies through re-purposing and changing the role of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund or ISEF. Certainty and support for businesses and up to €2bn of deferred taxes.
“The waiving of €260 million of commercial rates and the new restart fund for micro and small businesses.”