The Government will lay out a path to deal with the ending of the €350 pandemic unemployment payment in the coming weeks, the Minister for Finance has said.
In an online conference held by accountancy firm PwC, Paschal Donohoe said that the State will have to “lay out the path in how we’ll deal with the issue in a fair and affordable way” over the next “number of weeks”.
The minister noted that “only at the start of this week we made further changes with the wage subsidy scheme and we need to bed those down”.
Mr Donohoe was responding to questions on whether the payment of €350 was a disincentive to work.
In a wide ranging discussion moderated by PwC managing partner Feargal O’Rourke, Mr Donohoe addressed the speed at which the Government is lifting lockdown measures. “I am very aware what the consequences would be if the disease was to strengthen again,” he said, adding that “it is in our medium term interests to avoid all we can to avoid that happening”.
Mr Donohoe was also asked whether he was concerned by US president Donald Trump’s apparent desire to get pharmaceutical manufacturers back to the US. “At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, they have a fundamentally different view of global trade and the global economy to their predecessors,” Mr Donohoe said. But, he said that action taken by the US in the past “allowed Ireland maintain and in many cases grow our share of global investment and global jobs”.
“I believe that this government and future Irish governments will be able to work with president Trump or a future president to sustain American investment in Ireland because I believe we can make a compelling case about why this is in the interest of those economies,” said Mr Donohoe. However, he was keen to stress that trade should be mutually beneficial.