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€28,000 business grants on table in Government talks

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Fianna Fail’s Robert Troy

Fianna Fail’s Robert Troy

Fianna Fail’s Robert Troy

One-off grants of up to €28,000 will be available to businesses in the retail, hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors under plans being proposed by Fianna Fail.

The party has suggested the Government should introduce the grants for ratepayers in these industries.

The proposal is based on a scheme introduced in Northern Ireland.

In a letter to Business Minister Heather Humphreys, Fianna Fail TD Robert Troy said businesses in the North can apply for a £25,000 grant.

Eligibility

"I wonder have such policies been examined for deployment in this jurisdiction," he said.

He also called for a review of the eligibility for the Government's recently-announced Restart Grant, which allows businesses to reclaim €10,000 of rates for last year.

"If a business cannot provide a rates evaluation for 2019, which new businesses might not be able to, then they cannot access the grant," he said.

Mr Troy also called for funding for micro-businesses, tradespeople and entrepreneurs working from home.

"Arguably, they're the ones who need this grant the most and yet they're frozen out of it. It's highly important that this is re-examined," he said.

He also asked for sector-specific task forces to address difficulties in lifting social distancing restrictions in each industry.

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Minister Paschal Donohoe

Minister Paschal Donohoe

Minister Paschal Donohoe

Mr Troy's party is engaged in government formation talks with Fine Gael and the Greens.

Meanwhile, EU aid packages worth a total of €2trn can play a vital role in helping Ireland rebuild the economy after coronavirus and get people back to work, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe has said.

Speaking after a video conference of EU finance ministers, Mr Donohoe welcomed the latest joint proposal by France and Germany for a total €500bn coronavirus rescue fund for member states.

The money would be raised by breaking a long-standing taboo about the EU borrowing heavily on international money markets and repaying out of Brussels' coffers.

The minister said discussions were continuing on how this initiative would work in practice.