The Government has released details of its €7 billion July stimulus package, designed to boost economic activity and support jobs during the COVID-19 crisis. The following is an overview of the package, with further details to follow as they become available.
The standard VAT rate will be cut from 23% to 21% for a 6-month period, running from 1 September 2020 to 28 February 2021.
The previously announced restart grant fund is being more than doubled from €250 million to €550 million.
The limit for payments has increased from €4,000 to €25,000.
Businesses which have already availed of the grant can apply for a top-up to the new limits.
The scheme now includes some previously ineligible businesses, such as B&Bs.
Future growth loan scheme
The future growth loan scheme will be expanded from €200 million to €500 million,
Businesses with up to 499 employees will be eligible for longer-term loans at competitive rates.
Credit guarantee scheme
As previously announced, the COVID-19 credit guarantee scheme has been expanded to €2 billion.
Government will provide an 80% guarantee for credit products ranging from €10,000 to €1 million, up to a maximum of 6 years.
Commercial rates waiver
Commercial rates will be waived from 1 April until 30 September 2020.
Businesses should contact their local council to avail of the waiver.
Deferred payment of tax debt
Firms will be permitted to delay payment of PAYE and VAT debts in full or in part for a set period without incurring interest or penalties.
Employment wage subsidy scheme
The temporary wage subsidy scheme (TWSS) will be extended to March 2021, and from September 2020 will be known as the employment wage subsidy scheme (EWSS). Employers whose turnover has fallen by 30% will receive a flat-rate subsidy of up to €203 per week per employee. The scheme will extend to newly hired staff, including seasonal workers, and new start-up firms operating in affected areas.
Pandemic unemployment payment
The pandemic unemployment payment has been extended to April 2021, though will close to new applicants on 17 September 2020. The amount payable will gradually reduce to bring the payment in line with standard unemployment benefit. See here for full details.
A subsidy of up to €7,500 will be paid to an employer who hires someone under the age of 30 who is on the live register or in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment.
The subsidy is payable over two years.
Training and apprenticeship schemes
An investment of €200m will be made in training and apprenticeship schemes, designed to help 75,000 people.
The apprenticeship incentivisation scheme will provide a €2,000 payment to employers who hire new apprentices in 2020.
10,000 additional places on work placement schemes for those unemployed over 6 months.
12,500 additional places for short term skills training.
35,000 additional places in further and higher education.
There will be a €500m investment in capital projects, including schools, transport infrastructure, and arts, heritage and Gaeltacht.
'Stay and spend' tax rebate
In a bid to encourage people to holiday in Ireland, a tax rebate will be made available to holidaymakers on a portion of their hospitality expenses.
Consumers can claim a tax refund of up to €125 when they spend €625 on accommodation, food, or non-alcoholic drinks; rebates kick in from €25.
The scheme will run from October 2020 to April 2021, and will be administered by an app.