The Minister for Finance says the Government is determined to do all possible to contain the economic shock from the outbreak of Covid-19. 

Paschal Donohoe said if emergency unemployment legislation is passed tomorrow night, payments will be made by the end of the week.  

The Minister said that employers are not obliged to top up the payment but he urged them to do so - if possible. 

He also urged employers who recently had to let staff go to examine the scheme and see how they can move staff back from an unemployment scheme into the employment subsidy plan.

"The journey back to economic health is quicker if you are in a relationship with your employer," Mr Donohoe said. 


Paschal Donohoe said he was not underestimating the cost of this scheme and said "it will be paid for in the future". 

But he added that the ability to repay that cost will be transformed if people get back to work quicker, once the crisis has passed. 

He also said the Department of Youth Affairs is examining the childcare sector and how to support it.

Speaking on Morning Ireland, Paschal Donohoe said that we will examine what further decisions need to be made in 12 weeks' time.

Mr Donohoe said yesterday that Ireland had already likely used up its projected budget surplus of 0.7% of gross domestic product on coronavirus-related fiscal measures before the additional support announced yesterday. 

"We came into 2020 with a growing surplus, it's fair to say that all of that has now been used in responding back to the public health needs that we had just over two weeks ago and also due to the very sudden decline in tax revenue that's likely to take place in March," Mr Donohoe stated.