Tag Archives: Paschal Donohoe

Above from left: the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath; The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, and the Minister for Social Protection, Community and Rural Development, Heather Humphreys outline changes to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme this afternoon

This afternoon.

Government Buildings, Dublin 2.

The budget deficit this year will now be €23 billion, up approximately €1.25 billion on the figure outlined in Budget 2021, Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe announced at a press conference.


The increase reflects the anticipated €2 billion spend over the next six weeks on several income and business support schemes as Level 5 restrictions come into play.

This will mean that GDP is expected to decline this year by 3.5%, a further 1% decline on the forecast released at Budget time.

Mr Donohoe said that the enhanced Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) is expected to cost €105m a week, the new Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) €80m a week and the PUP €135m a week.

Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys said the enhanced PUP will be given at its current rate until January when it will then be reviewed….

Level 5 Covid restrictions to push Budget deficit up to €23 billion (RTÉ)

Julian Behal Photography/RollingNews

This afternoon.

The Department of the Taoiseach, Merrion Street, Dublin 2.

Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD provided an update on the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme, and announced details of the taxation of amounts received by employees under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and Pandemic Unemployment Payment.



PUP/TWSS recipients to discover tax liabilities in January – Revenue (RTÉ)

Sam Boal/RollingNews

This morning.

Berlin, Germany.

Newly-elected President of the Eurogroup (of the Union’s finance ministers), Paschal Donohoe at a press conference with ECB head Christine Legarde (above right) among others following his first meeting in the role.

Rollingnews/Council of the European Union live broadcast


Banking union…?


Good times.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe

Last night.

Government Buildings. Dublin 2.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe announced that tax revenues were down 18.6% – or €983 million – compared to July last year. ..


This morning.


Sam Boal/Rollingnews

This evening.

The Department of Finance announces:

The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, has today (Thursday) been elected as President of Eurogroup of Finance Ministers, succeeding Portugal’s Mario Centeno. His term will commence on 13 July, and he will serve for 2.5 years in the role.

Minister Donohoe was elected by his fellow Euro Area Finance Ministers at a meeting of the Eurogroup held by video conference. The other candidates were Minister Nadia Calviño of Spain, and Minister Pierre Gramegna of Luxembourg.

The Eurogroup is the body through which Finance Ministers of the 19 Euro area Member States take decisions on policy issues relating to management of the Euro area economy. Finance Ministers of the eight Member States who are not part of the Euro area frequently attend meetings given the importance of the issues under discussion.

The Eurogroup President has a vital role in shaping the agenda and policy response to major economic issues, including the economic impact of the present COVID-19 pandemic. Minister Donohoe is one of the longest-serving EU Finance Ministers and members of the Eurogroup.



Hanseatic League?


Paschal Donohoe has been elected president of the Eurogroup (The Irish Times)

Yesterday: Intensive canvassing before Paschal Donohoe’s Eurogroup bid


This afternoon.

Save yourselves, for pity’s sake.

Exchequer returns reveal €6.1bn deficit in May as Covid-19 spending soars (RTÉ)


This afternoon.

Government Buildings, Dublin 2.

Via The Irish Times:

In a briefing to the media following Friday’s Cabinet meeting, Mr Varadkar said secondary schools and primary schools will reopen fully at the start of the school year.


He said it may not be possible for every pupil to attend every school for the whole day every day at the start of school term but the intention was to revert to that as quickly as possible.


Katherine Zappone, the Minister for Children, also confirmed that childcare facilities will reopen with “playpods” for young children, with up to six infants aged under one being allowed in a single playpod….



Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe meanwhile said that the temporary wage subsidy scheme will now apply to people returning to work from maternity leave, and from paternity leave.

Govt intends to reopen primary and secondary schools at end of August (RTÉ)

Taoiseach has confirmed schools will reopen at the end of August (Irish Times)

Earlier: ‘Behaving As Though Every Home Still Had A Stay At Home Mother’

Photocall Ireland


Previously: €44,000 Paid Per Private Bed In April

This morning.

On RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

The Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe (above) was interviewed by Bryan Dobson. It followed his department saying that it expected Ireland to run a deficit of at least 7.5 per cent or €23 billion this year.

They had this exchange:

Bryan Dobson: “The supports that are available to people who are losing their jobs or are on short time payment, the pandemic payment, unemployment payment. And the wage subsidy – more than a million people now receiving some sort of payment from the State and it expires in the middle of next month. Will it be extended?”

Paschal Donohoe: “Well, we’re going to be dealing with this now across the next few weeks, Bryan. And then we’ll be in a position to outline a pathway for both of those payments. They are going to continue in a form but the level of those payments and how they will be made available to the economy is something that the Government will make a decision on soon.

“The reason why we need to be careful about these payments is two-fold. The first one is they’re working, they’re working keeping people in a job or if you have lost a job, they’re working in helping our citizens cope with huge change in living standards that nobody was expecting.

“The second reason we have to take care with their future is because of their cost. They are costing many hundreds of millions of euros per week and what I and the Government will aim to do is change those payments in a way that is affordable but also makes sense for our citizens.”


Listen back in full here


Rise TD Paul Murphy

This afternoon.

Rise TD Paul Murphy asked Taoiseach Leo Varadkar if a newspaper report today – stating that the estimated monthly cost of the State’s leasing of private hospitals will be €115million – a month is accurate.

Mr Varadkar replied:

“That’s deputy, that’s an estimate. So it’s as accurate as any estimate can be. If that answers your question, it may be right, it may be wrong but it’s an accurate estimate. It’s not necessarily what the accurate cost will be because we won’t know that until the end ’cause the costs, they’ll have to be calculated.

“But the agreement that was made between the HSE and the Private Hospital Association was told that this would be done on the basis, on a not-for-profit basis, so it’s the covering of the costs of the hospitals.”


Independent TD Catherine Connolly

This afternoon.

Independent TD Catherine Connolly told Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:

I gave my support to draconian legislation where absolutely no attempt was made to contextualise such legislation within a human rights perspective or to frame, indeed, the operation of the powers given to Garda and undefined medical officers so that such powers would be time-limited and used in a proportionate and undiscriminatory way.

I was full aware of the implications of such legislation and I gave my support reluctantly, on the basis of a number of issues. One, we improve the legislation as best we could. Two, we made it time-based. Three, we insisted that it would come back before the Dáil.

“But the most important one on which I gave my consent was that we would have full and frank disclosure, full information on every issue from you and the Government. And I have to say, significantly, and unacceptably, that part of the bargain has not been kept.

“I look at testing. I look at the information on that, totally contradictory and I know, as we all do, of people waiting for tests. Four weeks on Saturday, in relation to the one that I’m mentioning.

“In relation to the operation of laboratories, whether they’re functioning or not functioning.

“On the first of April we were told that it was sufficient to meet the demand. Perhaps the first of April is an indication of how we should take that piece of information.

“In relation to nursing homes, I’m absolutely appalled that they weren’t number one on the list with a risk assessment carried out.

“On the 30th of January, the public health emergency was recognised. On the 11th of February, it was given a name: the coronavirus. On the 11th of March, a pandemic was declared by the World Health Organisation. And I haven’t heard one simple explanation from ye, as to why the nursing homes, direct provision centres and residential centres weren’t number one on the list, where our most vulnerable people live. 

“Why an assessment wasn’t carried out. I have looked through all of the briefing documents prior to coming in here, I have eight from the month of April. Of all those briefing documents, we’ve two lines on nursing homes, to tell us there would be screening introduced, never was it mentioned again.”


People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett

This afternoon.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett put to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:

How do Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael believe that they are fitted to return to power or that we should believe their promises of a new political departure when, after the last financial crisis of 2008 they made the same promises and then proceeded to absolutely savage the staffing levels and capacity levels of our health service prior to this public health emergency.

“To the point where we have some of the lowest levels of ICU capacity, GP cover and staffing levels, hospital bed numbers in the whole of the Western world.

“Isn’t it the case, Taoiseach, that the privatisation and austerity policies that were pursued for the last ten years by these parties have contributed to the emergency that is now emerging, tragic emergency that’s emerging in our nursing homes because of a largely privatised, completely fragmented, under-resourced, under-supported nursing home sector.

“Isn’t it, Taoiseach, unacceptable but a legacy of the policies and priorities of those two parties. That 600 private consultants can hold this country over a barrel in the face of a public health emergency. It is absolutely shocking.

Can you please explain to me the incredible situation where this country has one of the biggest pharmaceutical and medical equipment industries in the world and yet we are suffering chronic shortages of Personal Protection Equipment, vital medical equipment and chemical reagents necessary to bring the level of testing up to that which we need to exit this crisis.

“And where [HSE CEO] Paul Reid cites proprietorial issues as an explanation for this. In layman’s terms, that means private patents and profit seeking by the companies that own these patents for chemical reagents.

“Can the Taoiseach explain why a private consultant, with no medical expertise whatsoever, was given the job of recruiting from the 70,000 heroic volunteers on the Call for Ireland, to recruit those people and integrate them into the health service.

“A job, from when I look at the numbers, doesn’t look to be going too well in that integration, CPL, CPL.

Can the minister explain the extraordinary appointment of a management consultant from an accountancy firm, Ernst & Young, to spearhead the ramping up of the testing and contact-tracing regime which we desperately need rather than public health experts, scientists and medics and that that same person has now been given the job to spearhead the transition back to, quote, ‘business as usual’.

“Rather than the public health experts, the scientists and the doctors, who should be deciding when we lift restrictions, how we lift restrictions, how we transition back to the normality that our citizens desperately want to return to…”


Labour leader Alan Kelly in the Dáil this afternoon

This afternoon, Labour leader Alan Kelly asked Taoiseach Leo Varadkar:

“Today, Taoiseach, we, in the Labour Party are proposing to you and to the rest of this House that we would pay all of our healthcare workers a one-off €1,000 solidarity gesture on May 1 [International Workers’ Day] in these unique circumstances when we know that all these workers are going way beyond anything they’ve ever done before or anything they’ll ever, ever do again.”


From top: Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar; Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin in the Dáil this afternoon

At 2pm.

The Dáil, with reduced numbers, got under way with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health Simon Harris, and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe scheduled to answer questions concerning the State’s response to Covid-19.

During his opening comments, Mr Varadkar said he doesn’t know if the current movement restrictions will be relaxed on May 5, saying they would need to be relaxed over several months.

He said:

“I don’t know yet if we’ll be able to relax restrictions on the 5th of May. But I do know that if we can, at all, it’s going to be gradual and will happen over a number of months. As we know from Asia, they may even need to be reimposed  again because only a scientific breakthrough, a vaccine or an effective anti-viral medicine will truly allow life to got back to being as it was.

“Other breakthroughs, like a reliable anti-body test, could really help though. And I am optimistic about the capacity of the brilliant minds in our international pharmaceutical companies and universities to deliver.”

During his initial contribution, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin told the Dáil:

“Unfortunately, I have to report to the House that I know of at least one case where relatives of a person in a nursing home has been informed that the nursing home has been told by the Department that it should not give out information about the number of cases in the home.”

The proceedings can be watched above or here.

The last time the Dáil sat, on April 3, Fine Gael TD and Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan refused to answer a single question that TDs raised about health matters concerning Covid-19, after castigating the TDs who called for the Dáil to sit.

Among the contributions from TDs was that of Fianna Fáil Stephen Donnelly who told the Dáil that he was told that out of 200 members of staff at one nursing home, 70 had tested positive for Covid-19 and that 19 of the home’s 100 residents had also tested positive.

Ms Madigan told the Dáil:

“I thank the deputies for their contributions. However, the members here today who have insisted on this Dáil sitting have shown a complete disregard for our national fight to contain Covid-19. Shame on you.”

More to follow.

Earlier: ‘A Growing Sense Of Public Unease’

Previously: A Refusal To Hold Themselves Accountable [Updated]

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe

This morning.

The Irish Times reports:

Euro zone finance ministers reached a compromise on Thursday to break days of stalemate over how to respond to an economic downturn that threatens to be the worst since the Great Depression in the 1930s.

Under the deal, which amounts to €500 billion in a range of tools, states can borrow from the European Stability Mechanism bailout fund to finance spending needed to overcome the crisis.

…But it dashed the hopes of Italy, Ireland, Spain and six other member states that had called for eurobonds to bring down borrowing costs and send a signal of unity as the continent confronts a health crisis that threatens to become an economic disaster.

Meanwhile, RTÉ reports:

He said it is very possible that Ireland will need to access funds from the European Investment Bank to help fund companies and will consider whether to access the programme to help fund wage subsidy schemes.

It is hoped that it will not need to use the fund from the European Stability Mechanism, he [Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe] added.

He said a new Government in Ireland must have a stable majority but must reflect the hopes and fears of the electorate when they voted.

Euro finance ministers agree €500bn package to address pandemic fallout (Naomi Leary, The Irish Times)

Ireland may need limited access to new EU Covid-19 rescue package, minister says (RTÉ)