The new Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) risks a wave of lay-offs in the coming weeks and months, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has warned.
Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:
“From the beginning of this pandemic, Sinn Féin have worked constructively with the government to protect workers and incomes.
“This was demonstrated through our work to increase the level of subsidy for low-paid workers under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS), and the inclusion of women returning from maternity leave.
“From the 1st September, the government will introduce a new scheme which significantly reduces the level of support for workers and their employers, and removes all support for those earning less than €152 per week.
“Under the EWSS, employees with gross weekly pay of less than €152 per week will not be eligible for any subsidy.
“The Department of Finance have informed me that there are over 153,000 workers across the State, and over 61,000 workers whose employers had been availing of the TWSS.
“These workers are now locked out of the new scheme, with potentially dire consequences for their jobs, their incomes and their families.
“Today the Minister stated that employers could qualify for the subsidy by increasing the pay of their employees above then €152 threshold; despite this being prohibited under the legislation. The Minister should clarify this issue immediately.
“It should be noted that this new Scheme will reduce existing wage supports across the board, with no recognition of the fact that certain sectors of our economy are more impacted than others. There is no-one-size-fits-all reopening of our economy, yet the government is pushing ahead with a blanket cut of supports for all businesses next week.
“This government risks causing a jobs crisis in the weeks and months ahead through their actions.”