Dublin package of supports needed to protect people and businesses

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
18 September 2020
  • Swift action needed to reassure public with comprehensive package of supports.
  • PUP payment levels and renter protections must be restored.
  • Application period for Restart grant should be extended along with rates waiver.

With our capital city due to move to at least level three restrictions, and pubs and restaurants all but shut down if public health advice is followed, Labour Business spokesperson and Dublin TD, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin called for the immediate publication today of a package of supports for Dublin people and businesses, and swift action from the government to communicate clearly what the reasons for tighter restrictions are, and criteria for moving out of them.

Deputy Ó Ríordáin said:

“With our capital city and most populated county on the verge of level three restrictions, we need swift and cohesive action from the Government today to reassure the public and businesses that supports will be there for them.

“The same package of business supports that was provided to other counties previously put in lockdown must be confirmed today. That includes grant top ups of 20%, extra support to help companies apply for grants and loans, and a promotional campaign to kick in after restrictions are lifted.

“But the government can’t just stop there. People must be helped too. The value of the pandemic unemployment payment must be urgently restored after being cut yesterday, and workers protected in their home with a ban on evictions and rent increases. The government should also look again at the level of support under the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme that were there at the beginning of the pandemic for businesses in Dublin that may have to shut down now.

“The application period for the Restart grant closes on 30 September, and due to poor communications, there has only been a 25% uptake in the Dublin City area. With Dublin now looking at weeks of restrictions, that must be extended and better promoted.

“The six-month waiver on commercial rates also expires at the end of the month, so additional support will be needed for the four Dublin local authorities, and confirmation that the waiver will be extended for businesses.

“There is also an urgent need to ensure payments and supports are issued as quickly as possible to protect supply chains, and support cashflow. Those that have already received grants should be allowed to apply again as was the case in Kildare, Laois and Offaly.

“However there is no point just throwing money at businesses if people, their customers aren’t supported too, and we need a comprehensive package from government covering renters and social protection payments.”

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