The current situation requires exceptional measures, which is why the Irish government has announced the Covid-19 National Support Plan. This plan aims to protect employees and employers and help them cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus.
These measures will be in place for 12 weeks with an estimated initial cost of EUR 3.7 billion. However, the government is aware of the situation and does not want to spare any effort. These costs are necessary to ensure that Irish citizens and their families suffer as little as possible. This is a period of great economic and social tension.
The summary of the measures is as follows:
1. Income Support Scheme
In order to enable the companies concerned to continue paying their employees, the employer will receive aid of up to 70% of the employee’s take-home pay up to a maximum weekly tax-free payment of 410 euros. This is the equivalent of 500 euros per week before tax.
2. Eligibility for the Income Support Scheme
The plan is open to all employers affected by the impact of COVID-19 in all sectors. To do so, employers must self-report to Revenue that they have experienced a significant negative economic disruption due to COVID-19. There must have been a minimum 25% decrease in staff turnover and be unable to pay wages and expenses, in accordance with guidelines to be issued by Revenue.
3. Self-employed workers
Self-employed who qualify will be paid the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 rather than through the Revenue scheme.
4. Eligibility for COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
People who have already been approved for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment will now get an increased payment of €350 per week (instead of €203) at their next payment date. Also, the COVID-19 illness payment will also be increased to €350 per week.
5. Measures in place for renters
The Government is working to ensure that no rent increases occur and to prevent the termination of residential rents, during the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.
Banks will support customers who buy from or let COVID-19 affected tenants with the opportunity to request a payment break of up to 3 months. The private rental sector will also receive the necessary support. The Rent Supplement is also available as a short-term income support for those in the private rental sector who are experiencing difficulties in paying their rent.
6. Measures in place for mortgage holders
The banking sector has announced a number of measures to support people affected by COVID-19. These include flexible arrangements, including a break in payment of mortgages and other loans ( payment interruption of up to 3 months). Customers with rental properties where tenants are negatively affected by COVID-19 will also receive flexibility, including the opportunity to request a break in payment for up to 3 months
7. Measures in place for people struggling with utility bills
The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) has issued a moratorium on disconnections of domestic customers for non-payment to the gas and electricity suppliers.
We hope this information is helpful to you. At Isea we will keep you informed of all updates announced by the government.