Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said while he does not know how long the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme will continue, it will not come to "an abrupt end".

He said it is currently keeping 400,000 people in a job and if it were to stop suddenly that would create the risk of jobs being lost.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Donohoe said: "The wage subsidy scheme is perhaps the most significant and radical and successful cash injection scheme that has ever been brought in."

As for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment scheme, he said is a decision that needs to be taken by Government as to how long it will be extended for and possible changes to it.

He said the value of both schemes is "recognised strongly" by the Government and it is up to him and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath to come up with the right plan for the schemes.

He said they have not yet made a decision regarding reducing VAT for the hospitality sector, but like all things it is under review.

Mr Donohoe said he understands the pressures the sector is facing because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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"I understand deeply the role of tourism and creation of jobs. I know how vital they are and I know the strain they are under," he said.

"We will make a decision on that matter in July and of course the Budget in October allows us to look at that and other tax measures again."

He said the July stimulus will "take action" in 2020 so that it's successful in keeping jobs and also so new jobs will be created.

He said with the many challenges that Covid-19 has brought, in that context this stimulus package focuses on jobs and employment in Ireland.


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Mr Donohoe said the Restart Grant Plan is in place at the moment and €140m of the grant has been drawn down.

He said the role and the scope of that fund will be looked at and he has to prioritise job creation and retention over other options at the moment.

He said the Government will launch a national economic plan as part of the Budget for next year.

Mr Donohoe said the reason we have a deficit of €23bn is because of the amount of cash that is being put into the economy.

He said the challenges in relation to jobs and income are huge and it will be a long and difficult journey ahead but that "we will be able to complete it".

"We will get Ireland back to work," he said.

Meanwhile, Green Party TD for Dublin Central Neasa Hourigan has said the Government needs to prioritise supporting people who have lost jobs in low paid and precarious sectors and encourage consumer confidence in the hospitality and tourism sectors. 

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sarah McInerney programme, Ms Hourigan said the fact that recent figures show there has not been a huge collapse in income tax despite a very high level of unemployment, then "perhaps those who lost jobs weren't paying a lot of income tax in the first place" as they were in low paid or in precarious work.

She said that "we need to focus on supporting those people and ensuring people are not left behind, particularly in the tourism and hospitality sectors where those jobs tend to be".