Post-lockdown economic package must deliver quickly – Taoiseach

Post-lockdown economic package must deliver quickly – Taoiseach

Jobs retention initiatives and improving businesses’ access to credit will be key focuses of a post-lockdown stimulus package, the Taoiseach has said.

Micheál Martin expressed hope of having the fresh economic measures ready for implementation by the middle of July.

Mr Martin and fellow Cabinet ministers met at Dublin Castle on Monday to discuss how best to continue to support workers and businesses as they deal with the economic shock caused by the pandemic.

The Fianna Fáil leader said the package would also concentrate on “fine-tuning” ongoing state support, such as the temporary wage subsidy scheme.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Taoiseach Micheál Martin attended a Cabinet meeting in Dublin Castle on Monday (Julien Behal/PA)
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Taoiseach Micheál Martin attended a Cabinet meeting in Dublin Castle on Monday (Julien Behal/PA)

“The important thing about the July stimulus is what will work quickly,” he said.

Mr Martin said it was important to take comprehensive action prior to the next budget in October.

“There will be a budget in October, there will be a more comprehensive economic plan of recovery developed, but this has to deal with the immediate situation,” he said.

During a post-Cabinet media conference, Mr Martin also said Ireland would be led by scientific advice when it came to the potential easing of foreign travel restrictions.

On calls for proactive enforcement of new regulations to wear face masks on public transport, the Taoiseach insisted “compliance takes time” and expressed confidence more people would start to wear coverings.

Tánaiste and business minister Leo Varadkar said the economic package had to be of sufficient scale to deal with Ireland’s economic problems.

The Cabinet is working effectively, we have to make a quick and collective start on leading the country out of a very difficult situation

“We are facing a very serious mass unemployment crisis in Ireland, mass unemployment and potential mass insolvencies of businesses,” said the Fine Gael leader.

“So it has to be at scale, it has to meet the scale of the challenge. Secondly, it does need to be done quickly.”

Green Party leader and minister for climate action Eamon Ryan said the Cabinet had “hit the ground running”.

“I think there is a very good working relationship already between the three parties,” he said.

“The Cabinet is working effectively, we have to make a quick and collective start on leading the country out of a very difficult situation.”

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