March 24, 2020 / 4:52 PM / 9 days ago

New Irish income package to cost 3.7 billion euros over 12 weeks

FILE PHOTO: Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe walks outside Government Buildings in Dublin, Ireland October 8, 2019. REUTERS/Lorraine O'Sullivan/File Photo

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Increased coronavirus income supports that Ireland announced on Tuesday for those already unemployed and workers at risk of losing their jobs will cost an initial 3.7 billion euros (3.4 billion pounds) over a planned 12-week period, the government said.

Employers must show they have suffered a minimum 25% decline in turnover and are unable to pay normal wages and other outgoings to qualify for the scheme, which is open to impacted firms in all sectors.

While the increased package will have a very significant negative impact on the state’s public finances, Ireland is well placed to significantly increase borrowing activity in the coming months and years to pay for the measures, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe told a news conference.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Gareth Jones

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