The Government has fully reinstated the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) from 1st December until end of January 2022, saying the extension will keep people in their jobs over the festive season.

This is a revearsal of an earlier decision to continue tapering the EWSS rate, while introducing more targeted supports specifically for the hospitality sector. Speaking in the Dáil, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that most companies in receipt of the EWSS were not in the hospitality sector and the government was looking at more targeted supports.

However, the Government has now admitted that it would be ‘too complicated’ to introduce specific supports for the hospitality sector before Christmas, and has instead fully restored the EWSS.

There was also confirmation the commercial rates waiver would remain in place until the end of March next year.

Planned reductions building up to the ending of the scheme on 30th April will continue.

VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben said: “The restoration of the EWSS to it’s full rate backdated to 1st December is welcome news as the trade approaches Christmas. It will mean keeping staff in their jobs through he festive season and into the new year, which is hugely important.

“However, Government will need to engage with the sector on an ongoing basis as it remains unclear if restrictions will be extended. If that’s the case, further supports will be required.

“Even with these supports, there is huge uncertainty for the pub trade as it heads into the new year and the upcoming second anniversary of the crisis. Government must talk to us about a long term plan for the sector, because without one the trade will collapse,” concluded Mr Cribben.

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