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COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case IE-2020-30/1422 – measures in Ireland

July stimulus aims to assist businesses and people get back to work

Country Ireland , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 23 July 2020
Type Other initiatives or policies
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Support for spending, stimulus packages
Author Roisin Farelly (IRN Publishing) and Eurofound
Case created 11 November 2020 (updated 02 December 2020)

Background information

The Government’s July Jobs Stimulus package was launched on 23 July 2020 and contained a range of measures of up to €7.4 billion designed to stimulate a jobs-led recovery while living with COVID-19.

Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD said: "The stimulus package announced today will protect existing jobs while creating new and sustainable employment options in the months and years ahead.”

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD said: “Today’s stimulus package is the next step in our national recovery story. It is designed to help businesses which haven’t reopened yet and those struggling to do so. We have listened to businesses and responded with a package of scale and speed to meet their most immediate needs. Our main objective is to save jobs and create new ones.”

Content of measure

The stimulus includes:

  • A new Employment Wage Support Scheme will succeed the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme, and run until April 2021. Read more at COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch Database .
  • 0% interest for first year of SME loans
  • Restart Grant for Enterprises is being extended and expanded. Read more at COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch Database
  • The waiver of commercial rates extended until end-September 2020
  • Extension of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) to 1st April 2021. Read more at COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch Database
  • €200 million investment in training, skills development, work placement schemes, recruitment subsidies, and job search and assistance measures
  • 35,000 extra places will be provided in further and higher education.
  • Further supports for apprenticeships
  • The bike to work scheme is being extended
  • There will be a 6-month reduction in the standard rate of VAT from 23% to 21%.

Use of measure

No information.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Applies to all businesses Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
European Funds
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Consulted Consulted
Form Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies Consultation through tripartite or bipartite social dialogue bodies

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level


Social partners were consulted prior to publication of the stimulus.

Views and reactions

Responding to the details of the Government’s July stimulus package, Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) general secretary, Patricia King said: “As we transition to this stimulus phase, the length and depth of the recession will be determined to a very large extent by the policy priorities unveiled today, and the devil will be in the detail.

ICTU and the trade union movement have made a substantial contribution towards shaping many of the measures implemented by the last Government to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus and to offset the consequences for households and businesses. Direct government grants to businesses, in the order of billions of €’s must be conditional on a commitment by them to decent work and to retaining their workforce. We must end the scourge of low pay and precarious work and no longer tolerate bogus self-employment that pervades the sectors hardest hit. The race to the bottom must end."

Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, strongly welcomed the July Stimulus package announced from Government today, the largest single economic stimulus in the history of the State. Ibec CEO Danny McCoy said: “On behalf of the Irish business community, today’s stimulus package of increased public spending, investment and tax supports is a welcome and important step in rebooting the economy. Government has taken on board Ibec’s extensive inputs over recent months and unveiled a comprehensive package of economic and business supports. It is imperative that the package is now delivered alongside measures that ensure as safe a return to as much economic activity as possible in the coming months. "


  • 23 July 2020: Government launches €7.4 billion Jobs Stimulus to help businesses re-open, get people back to work and promote confidence (
  • 23 July 2020: July Stimulus is a timely confidence and investment boost (
  • 23 July 2020: July stimulus: Surprise tax cut and help-to-buy scheme expanded (
  • 24 July 2020: ICTU responses to July Stimulus Package (


Eurofound (2020), July stimulus aims to assist businesses and people get back to work, case IE-2020-30/1422 (measures in Ireland), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.