The government is reportedly planning to make "bullet payments" of up to €30,000 to pubs and restaurants that reopen in June and July to help boost their vitality and as compensation for enduring a longer period of closure than most sectors of the economy.
As reported by The Sunday Times, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, finance minister Paschal Donohoe and public expenditure minister Michael McGrath will have talks before a cabinet meeting today (Tuesday June 1) about giving an enhanced "restart grant" to small businesses that have claimed lockdown supports under the COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) since the beginning of 2021.
Varadkar has reportedly said that bars and restaurants, which have had to close longer than businesses in other sectors and which will not be permitted to resume indoor services until July 5, will be entitled to the aforementioned "bullet payments", which reportedly will not be available to hotels.
It is reportedly understood that senior ministers are considering a higher rate restart grant for hospitality businesses than for sectors that are already open, and that the rate could be as a high as €30,000 for some pubs and restaurants.
Special Payments And Schemes For Theatres And Galleries
At June 1's cabinet meeting, ministers will also reportedly hear details of special payments and schemes for theatres and galleries that have had their businesses frozen for over a year.
Culture minister Catherine Martin has reportedly been working with Donohoe and McGrath on the details of reopening funding for the arts sector.
Winding Down CRSS And PUP Payments
Additionally, the cabinet will also reportedly be told about plans by Donohoe and McGrath to wind CRSS and Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) payments down, with rates starting to decrease from September and new restrictions being introduced for the PUP.
The information in the above paragraph follows news from last week that senior government figures had reportedly said that COVID-19 welfare and business supports will not be scaled back until the autumn at the earliest.
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