Government considers wage subsidy and eviction ban extension for July stimulus package

Government considers wage subsidy and eviction ban extension for July stimulus package
The Minister for Finance emphasised the importance of the wage subsidy policy in Ireland's response to the coronavirus. Picture: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Rent freezes and eviction bans introduced as an emergency response to the outbreak of the coronavirus are set to be extended.

The measures had been due to expire on Monday however it is understood the housing minister Darragh O'Brien will bring a memo extending the regulations until later in the year.

The Minister for Housing has not yet revealed how long the eviction ban and rent freeze will be extended for.

Earlier today, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the eviction ban will not expire next week but that the policy "can’t be forever."

Mr Varadkar said: "The temporary ban on evictions won’t end on Monday. But as the Deputy will appreciate, the legal advice around this is very strong.

"It can only be temporary and can’t be forever – for reasons that are well-rehearsed. 

"A medium-term solution is going to be needed as well as a temporary extension to the ban."

Meanwhile, the Minister for Finance, Pascal Donohue has described the government's future decision on the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme as one of the important actions to be taken in the last two years. 

The Dublin TD's comments come as the government considers extending the scheme beyond October as part of the July stimulus package.

Minister Pascal Donohoe said hundreds of thousands of people are benefiting from the scheme at the moment. 

The Minister for Finance said: "One of the biggest decisions we will have to make is in the future of the wage subsidy scheme. 

"That wage subsidy scheme which was introduced only a number of weeks ago, 

"Is now keeping 405,000 people either in the job they're in or else maintaining all or most of their income."

The Finance Minister also insisted he will not participate in, or make decisions, that will lead to the return of the troika to Ireland. 

Mr Donohue said: "If I look at the decisions we have made and the kind of decisions I believe this government will make, 

"I am absolutely certain that the return of the troika, those kind of very dark days between 2008-2012 will not return again to Ireland."

The government is currently preparing a stimulus package, to be announced next week, to support businesses in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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