New enterprise support packages expected to be approved by Cabinet on Tuesday

New enterprise support packages expected to be approved by Cabinet on Tuesday

Retail and hospitality businesses could be set for a “cash injection” worth thousands of euros as part of a new enterprise support package being considered by the Government.

Ministers were putting the finishing touches to the plans over the weekend, with the final package due to be approved by Cabinet on Tuesday.

“It now looks likely that an immediate double payment of the cost of doing business grant to those who qualify in hospitality and retail is the quickest way of getting more cash to small businesses,” a senior Government source said. ‘‘If you already applied and got the grant, you can get the same again. If you didn’t apply yet you can get double.”

There will also be a separate measure worth €50 million to increase the PRSI threshold for employers. At present an employer who pays someone up to €441 a week pays an employer’s PRSI rate of 8.8 per cent, and as soon as the employee goes above that income the rate goes up to 11.05 per cent on all of the income.

The minimum wage was increased to €12.70 this January but the PRSI threshold for the higher rate did not move up to €495. This means that employers paying a minimum wage for a 39-hour week are paying the higher 11.05 per cent rate. The threshold will now be moved up to that €495 level which could save businesses hundreds of euros every week, a source said.

Ministers are also mulling over a decision to pause future increases in the number of sick days an employee can take. It had been planned that workers would be entitled to seven statutory sick leave days from next January, up from five. This was then supposed to increase to 10 days in 2026. Further increases to the national minimum wage could also be phased in at a slower pace. One Government source said this plan, however, would be subject to decisions made by the Low Pay Commission.

Furthermore, a €1.5 billion surplus in the National Training Fund could also be used to improve incentives for employers to take advantage of education and training for their employees.

It was revealed earlier this month that of the 125,000 businesses that could qualify for the increased cost of business grant, only over 50 per cent had actually applied.