Government must pay wage subsidy directly to employers

Local Independent Deputy, Denis Naughten, has requested the Taoiseach and Government to pay a wage subsidy directly to employers to allow them to continue to pay staff during the current crisis.

“Rather than inundating our social welfare system with new claims, we should keep the link between employer and employee by paying a generous wage subsidy directly to employers. This would cover the cost of continuing to pay salaries of staff or those already laid off due to the coronavirus.

“Not only would this address the huge administrative challenge of trying to pay those who have been made unemployed a decent living wage but importantly it will keep the link between the employer and employees which will be so vital to the recovery of our economy in the months ahead.

“It will also address another risk where an employee laid off for four weeks or more could claim redundancy. If this were to happen on a large scale it would decimate the viability of many small and medium sized companies and destroy any chance of a recovery to our economy.”

“I have urged the Government to maintain the link between employers and employees ensuring that staff continue to be paid during the crisis rather than relying on a social welfare system that just could not cope.

“I hope the suggestion I have presented to Government will be considered at its meeting today and reflected in the legislation to be published later,” Deputy Naughten affirmed.

Post vans must be used to deliver necessities to older people

Meanwhile, Deputy Naughten has asked An Post to use its mail network across the country to ensure older people have daily necessities such as food, medicines, newspapers and other essentials without having to leave their homes during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Through my work as Minister for Communications I was able to protect the five day delivery service to every home in Ireland and this service must now be used to ensure that older people and those who are vulnerable are not forced from their homes to get basic essential items.

“I know that many An Post mail staff would be personally willing to assist, and I know too that many local businesses would be willing to work with the company to make sure that deliveries were properly packaged and labelled.

“I have also asked An Post to look at waiving fees for their current accounts for those people on social welfare who do not have a bank account so that they can make payments over the phone or online to their local business.

“Many local businesses are very willing to accept phone orders and it is important that we all support local business so they can keep their doors open over the coming months when we will all be so dependent upon them,” Deputy Naughten commented.

 

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