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Government considering phasing out pandemic supports in the final quarter of the year

Leo Varadkar said there would be no dramatic changes. An announcement will be made on Tuesday.

Image: TOM HONAN

TÁNAISTE LEO VARADKAR has said the Government will next week outline how it plans to phase out pandemic welfare supports in the final quarter of the year. 

At the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting, Varadkar said there would be no dramatic changes, stating that payments will have to be phased out.

He said Q3 would be about reopening and allowing people time to reopen and recover.

While sources state he didn’t specify a specific month, it is understood it will be done in the final quarter of 2021.

Earlier today, Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys said she would bring proposals to the Cabinet subcommittee on Covid-19, which is meeting tomorrow evening. 

However, the Tánaiste confirmed this evening that the financial supports will be announced after Cabinet on Tuesday, despite Cabinet also meeting this coming Friday.

Varadkar said there would be “no cliff edge” to the financial supports people are receiving.

Sources indicated this evening that a number of proposals are being worked on ahead of tomorrow evening’s meeting between party leaders, with “nothing decided yet”.

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The Taoiseach will on Friday announce the easing of restrictions in the hospitality, entertainment and the aviation sector. 

The government’s National Economic Plan for the next phase of the pandemic will be launched after Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, where more details on the future of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be revealed.

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