Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme 'deeply flawed' as workers are losing out says Laois TD

Conor Ganly

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Conor Ganly

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news@leinsterexpress.ie

coronavirus covid-19

Laois Offaly TD Brian Stanley

The Covid-19 emergency Wage Subsidy Scheme must be reformed to ensure that workers receive a minimum payment of at least €350 per week, Laois/Offaly Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley.

He claims workers are are not getting enough to pay the bills.

“Some workers have complained to me that they are receiving as little as €240 on the scheme. This is putting many workers in a very difficult financial situation as they still have mortgages or high rent to pay and in some cases they also have a car loan.

“Under the current scheme, many workers who are only receiving 70% of their usual wage are being paid much less than the €350 they would receive through the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

"The current design of the Wage Subsidy Scheme is deeply flawed, with both workers and business representatives calling for anomalies to be addressed.

“As employers receive up to 70% of employees wages, any worker with a weekly take-home pay of less than €500 is receiving less than the €350 they would receive from the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

"One of the core objectives of the scheme is to maintain a relationship between workers and employers, but figures published this week show that more than half a million people are in receipt of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment whilst only 130,000 workers are currently qualified for the Wage Subsidy Scheme.

"If employers and their workers do not sign up for the scheme, we are at risk of deepening this recession and increasing long-term unemployment. This requires immediate attention and further delay is not an option.

"Sinn Féin has proposed alterations to the wage subsidy scheme that would provide greater protection for workers who would normally have a take home pay of less than €500 per week and would have avoided the flaws that have now come to pass.

“We have contacted the Minister for Finance and Revenue to look for the scheme to be reformed by ensuring that €350 is the minimum payment that workers will receive. This needs to be addressed urgently,” concluded the TD.