Fianna Fáil Minister and TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue says the July Stimulus package marks another step in an unprecedented state response to the global pandemic.
He said that in Donegal so many businesses and their employees have struggled due to the public health restrictions implemented since early March.
He added the package announced has over 50 measures and is worth over €7 billon.
He said “We are known the world over as a desirable tourism destination, but many bars, restaurants, and hotels have struggled following their temporary closure and a massive decrease in visitors. I am delighted to welcome the Stay and Spend Initiative. This is a tax rebate customers can avail of. The initiative will see more people dining and staying in our hotels, helping the local economy.
“The Restart Grant, aimed at supporting small businesses, has been increased in terms of funding. The maximum payment has been increased to €25k and the minimum payment will now be €4k. Importantly, the eligibility criteria to apply for the grant has been broadened to include non-rateable B&Bs, rateable Sports Clubs and more.
“I know a lot of businesses have used the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme to ensure staff stay on their books but the business is supported financially. The new Employment Wage Support Scheme will be a successor of this scheme and will run to March 31st next year. Crucially, this new scheme will include seasonal workers and new employees.
“For many, they have been made unemployed through no fault of their own. For people in this situation the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be extended to April 1st and access provided for back to work supports.
“I am conscious parents need certainty regarding the return of children to school this September. This package includes €75m for primary and post primary schools to get them ready for reopening. This is ahead of an announcement next week from the Department regarding the return of students in September.
“This has been a hard year for our county. I am confident the measures announced by government, along with the programme for government, will support families, communities, and our local economy to overcome the unprecedented challenges COVID19 brought to our shores,” concluded Minister McConalogue.