The government recognises that the decisions made this week, coming in addition to those of 16th November, will have a particular impact on sectors such as hospitality, the night time economy, and the arts and entertainment sectors.
In addition to existing economy-wide schemes, including the Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), which will remain in place at current rates of payment and qualification criteria, the Minister for Finance is introducing a new scheme for businesses in the hospitality sector that are subject to restrictions on operating.
This will adjust the COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) to support businesses whose trade is significantly impacted and which are subject to regulatory restrictions on operating. This will involve a weekly payment of payment of 12% of turnover for qualifying businesses. Further details will be provided by the Department of Finance.
There will also be a further extension of the current targeted commercial rates waiver for the first quarter of 2022. This will be put in place at an additional cost of approximately €62.3 million.
The government is also making additional funding of €25 million, in addition to the allocation of €25 million already provided for in Budget 2022, to support the live entertainment sector.
The government has also agreed to a limited reopening of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment for workers who are temporarily laid off due to the impact of these public health restrictions. There will be a number of refinements to the scheme design to target it more effectively. Further details will be made available by the Department of Social Protection.