9th December 2021

Chambers Ireland welcomes EWSS and CRSS extensions but calls for more appropriate and effective system of supporting businesses in the longer term

Chambers Ireland, the voice of business throughout Ireland, has welcomed the announcement (on Dec 9th) from Ministers Donohoe and McGrath on the extension of enhanced supports for businesses who qualify for the EWSS and the CRSS,  but urges Government to provide greater clarity for businesses.

Chambers Ireland Chief Executive Ian Talbot, said: “The announcement is an important assurance for many of our members across the country. By maintaining the enhanced rates of subsidy under the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) for a further two months and extending the end-date of the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) to 31 January, this will provide many businesses with essential financial assistance as we face into a further uncertain period of trading as a result of rising Covid-19 case numbers.

“While we recognise the significance of this support in the immediate short-term, we urge Government to further consider the extension of these supports in the medium to long-term should public health conditions deteriorate following the busy Christmas period.

“A more appropriate and effective system of supporting businesses in the longer term will need to be devised early in the new year to provide this clarity that business owners desperately require. The rolling threat of a cliff-edge cut-off to supports in place for employers must end in 2022.

“We continue to call on government to introduce multiple, realistic scenario contingency planning. Businesses need to have foresight of what the Government responses will be should our Covid-19 levels not improve, and also what to expect if they disimprove.

“The pandemic and its consequences are still very much with us and the detection of new strains of this virus continues to pose threats to the disruption of business activities across many sectors.

“The Government needs to provide a detailed path forward for 2022, covering a myriad of possible restrictions, so that businesses can adequately plan for the months ahead. We reiterate that it is impossible for businesses to operate in an environment where government recommendations, and public health advice, are undergoing amendments on an ad-hoc, reactive basis.”

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