Benefits for Laois from Government's Covid-19 stimulus plan outlined by Seán Fleming

Conor Ganly


Conor Ganly


coronavirus covid-19

Taoiseach Micheál Martin with Laois Offaly TD and Minister of State at the Department of Finance Seán Fleming

People and businesses in Laois can and will benefit from the July Jobs Stimulus announced by the Government through over fifty individual initiatives in the stimulus plan, according to Laois Offaly TD and Minister for State at the Department of Finance Seán Fleming.

The Fianna Fáil TD said each and every one of the above will result from the €5 billion stimulus package in benefits and supports in Laois.

"I am calling on all businesses and individuals here locally to immediately contact the relevant government office be it: The Local Enterprise Office, The Department of Social Protection, Laois County Council and Revenue Commissioners etc, to ensure that people here in Laois avail of all these new schemes.

"They are available across the country so it is important that people in Laois are alert to these schemes and make the maximum claims and draw down the maximum amount of benefits for people and businesses here in Laois," he said.

He outlined some of the measures which he believed will help provide relief and help recover from Covid-19.

Minister Fleming said a new Employment Wage Support Scheme (EWSS) will replace the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) and this will run until the 31st March 2021. This scheme will now be open to employers who are operating at below 70% of turnover compared to last year and will now include seasonal staff and new employees.

He said the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will continue to the 1st April 2021 with some tapering of payments during that period.

The TD said the Restart Grant Scheme for businesses will be expanded and provide for an increase in the maximum payment from €10,000 to €25,000 and increase the minimum payment from €2,000 to €4,000.

He added that businesses will be supported to develop their online presence and there will be an expansion of the Online Trading Vouchers from the Local Enterprise Office here in Portlaoise.

Also included will be additional loan guarantees provided for micro and small businesses.

Minister Fleming said there will be a major investment in training and education to provide additional places on work placement and experience schemes, training support schemes, new apprentice incentive schemes and subsidies under the Jobs Plus scheme of €7,500 over two years for employers to hire somebody under 30 years who is currently unemployed.

He said the there will be a new income tax relief for self-employed individuals and businesses who were profitable in 2019 but as a result of Covid-19 will incur losses in 2020. 

The Commercial Rates Waiver for businesses will be extended to the end of September he added.

The junior Minister said there will be a major capital investment in projects including the construction and building sector of over €9billion in 2021, up 12% from 2020.

"This will be of major significance to many people in Co. Laois who work in the construction and building area as there will be increased activity in this area both for the remainder of this year and right through next year," he said.

He added that people who pay €625 on the Stay and Spend Initiative between October 2020 and April 2021 will be able to claim back up to €125.

Another element of the stimulus will be further funding for both primary and second-level schools under the expanded minor works scheme to help them get ready for re-opening for the new school year.

He said there would also a new fund to help community centres make necessary adjustments, arising from Covid-19.