FF crying crocodile tears over dividend payments made by firm that took almost €2million in wage subsidy payments

15 December 2021

Government TDs consistently refused to back Labour calls for conditions to be attached to TWSS & EWSS scheme

Responding to Fianna Fail TD Jim O’Callaghan’s remarks regarding the payment of dividends by firms availing of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), Labour’s Finance spokesperson Ged Nash said:

“I welcome the government Deputy’s conversion to the principle that strict conditions should be attached to the drawdown of State support under the EWSS.

“This is a significant shift in position from a deputy who represents a government that refused to support calls by Labour to attach strict social and economic conditions to the massive wage subsidy schemes when it really mattered.

“The record shows that the Labour Party consistently made the case, for example, for no lay-offs and decent work clauses to be introduced as a condition for accessing cash support, for a ban on bonuses at firms using the schemes and a prohibition on the use of the TWSS and the EWSS for companies who are operating from tax havens.

“The Minister for Finance will be aware that such conditions are commonplace in other EU countries where equivalent Covid-19 support schemes are in place.

“In addition, many of our EU partners have recognised that taxpayer bailouts to businesses are a once-in-a-generation opportunity to attach some basic social and environmental standards which can help shape better outcomes for society.

“The time to attach such conditions has passed and no amount of crocodile tears after the event from government representatives will make a jot of a difference at this stage.”

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