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Pandemic wage subsidy scheme to be extended to April 2022, Donohoe confirms

The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme will be closed to new entrants in January.
Oct 12th 2021, 1:43 PM 12,866 11

THE EMPLOYMENT WAGE Subsidy scheme will run until 30 April 2022, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has confirmed in his Budget 2022 speech.

The Government previously announced plans to wind down the scheme by the end of 2021 but it was widely expected that it would be extended.

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, the minister confirmed the scheme will be extended by four months but will be closed to new entrants from 1 January next year.

“The scheme will continue to support businesses, encourage employment and help to maintain the link between employers and employees,” Donohoe said.

Businesses still in receipt of the subsidy by 31 December 2021 “will continue to be supported by the scheme until 30 January”, he said.

“Across December, January and February, a two rate structure of €151.50 and €300 will apply,” Donohoe added.

For March and April of next year — the final two months of the scheme — a flat rate subsidy of €100 will be in place.

The reduced rates of employers Pay Related Social Insurance will no longer apply for those months, Donohoe said.

The EWSS supported almost 327,000 workers in August, according to the most recent figures available.

Commenting on the decision, Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI) said the extension of the EWSS will give “vital certainty” to the 39,000 employers still signed up to the scheme.

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“Today’s decision to extend the EWSS until 30 April 2022, avoiding any cliff edge, will come as a major relief for many small businesses that are still not operating at full capacity, for example in the tourism, hospitality, and entertainment sectors,” said Norah Collender, Professional Tax Leader at CAI.

“These supports cannot last forever, but their presence over the last 18 months has been an example of a targeted, partnership-based approach by the state which has kept many businesses afloat.”  

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