• Cyril McAree

July Stimulus Package Throws A Lifeline To The SME Sector - Chartered Accountants Ireland

Commenting on the July stimulus announcement today (23 July 2020), Dr Brian Keegan, Director of Public Policy, Chartered Accountants Ireland said

“The extension of the Wage Subsidy Scheme and the Pandemic Unemployment Payment along with funding for businesses reopening are essential to restarting the economy. It is evident that this new government has been listening to business when putting the package together. The pandemic recession was created by a sensible response across all sectors of society towards containing coronavirus. Now this response is being matched with proportionate stimulus to revive businesses and get people back to work.

“Government has renewed the most effective business relief in the Employment Wage Support Scheme. This approach since March has been the most effective because it leveraged existing structures within the tax system and involved less red tape. Time is key for businesses and the less red tape to navigate, the more time they can spend on salvaging their livelihoods. The approach on commercial rate deferral also reflects this thinking.

“While it is good to have additional sources of funding for business, grant aid needs to play a strong role. We note in particular the increases to the Restart Grants both in terms of amount and scope. We cannot afford to replace a liquidity crisis with a debt crisis.

“Finally, we have to learn from international experience as we reopen and rebuild. The Institute has warned against any disregard for public health advice, and a survey of almost 20,000 chartered accountants in Ireland identified worries over staff and customer safety as the top issue on re-opening. Finding this balance will be critical in the weeks and months ahead.”

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