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wage subsidy

Pandemic wage subsidy scheme ends today after being in place for over two years

The scheme was extended for businesses impacted by public health restrictions in December 2021.

MINISTER FOR FINANCE, Paschal Donohoe has announced that the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) has now ceased for every business in the country.

The subsidy, which was in place for the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, was mostly wound down in late April but was extended for some businesses due to public health restrictions being implemented in December 2021.

Speaking on the ending of the scheme, Donohoe said that the scheme played a “crucial role” in supporting businesses during the pandemic.

“The wage subsidy schemes played a crucial role in preserving employment and incomes and supporting businesses at a very challenging time during the pandemic,” said Donohoe.

“The success of the schemes is clearly evident by the employments supported, as well as how quickly our economy adapted and recovered following the lifting of public health restrictions.

“I signalled the end of the EWSS many months ago to give businesses sufficient time to plan and adapt as necessary, and I expect that many businesses have seen a resumption in their levels of trade.

“To give further support and clarity, I also recently announced an extension to the 9 per cent VAT rate for the tourism and hospitality industry for a further six months.”

Donohoe first announced that the scheme would expire in October 2021 as part of his budget speech, with the EWSS closing to new entrants on 1 January 2022.

The scheme, which was first implemented in March 2020 as the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic amid public health restrictions.

The TWSS supported wages of 690,000 employees across the state, with 67,000 employers accessing the scheme.

The EWSS supported wages of 744,000 workers, with 51,900 employers accessing the scheme. Direct subsidy payments worth €6.83 billion were paid out as well as PRSI forgone of over €1.03 billion.

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