Varadkar to face questions on reopening of Irish economy in Dáil

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will face questions on the reopening of the Irish economy as well as the state's response to Covid-19 as the Dáil meets again tomorrow.
Varadkar to face questions on reopening of Irish economy in Dáil

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will face questions on the reopening of the Irish economy as well as the state's response to Covid-19 as the Dáil meets again tomorrow.

With the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) set to meet again on Friday, an announcement on the easing or continuation of restrictions is expected on Friday evening and Mr Varadkar will be asked about the government's "roadmap" for the reopening of the economy.

Mr Varadkar had said that he wanted this plan published before the expiry of current restrictions on Monday, but the plan has not yet been published.

Opposition TDs have criticised the government for its lack of transparency and consultation on the response to the outbreak.

Opposition sources have said that they do not expect the government to show them the plan before announcing it, but that they will ask for clarity during tomorrow's questions.

The Dáil will continue to operate under social distancing rules, meaning that the chamber will once again be at limited capacity and that questions to the Taoiseach will be limited to two hours as per public health advice.

Last week Mr Varadkar asked for a different structure to questions as his time to answer TDs had been insufficient.

Also on the Dáil schedule is Health Minister Simon Harris, who will be asked about Ireland's testing regimes as well as the ongoing situation regarding outbreaks in nursing homes and care facilities.

Mr Harris will be asked to spell out Ireland's response to nursing homes in particular as the economy gradually reopens.

Business Minister Heather Humphreys will also answer questions, with the ongoing business supports, as well as the low uptake of some business loans, set to be raised.

At a briefing today, Ms Humphreys said that 90 applicants had been approved under the microfinance loan scheme, totalling €16.4 million.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed will also be in the chamber to answer questions on Ireland's food supply and the impact of the crisis on farmers and fishermen.

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