The government has been pushing to set up Covid-style payment support for businesses and employees hit by the energy crisis

The government has been urged to set up a Covid-style payment support scheme for businesses and workers to ease the impact of the energy crisis.

Socialists are calling for a new ‘Energy Crisis Support Scheme’ or ECSS, which would provide tiered support to workers and financial support to businesses.

“We’re talking about this type of intervention that brings money to people and businesses as quickly as possible,” party co-leader Róisín Shortall said at the party’s think-in in Dublin on Tuesday.

She said the types of government payment models used during the Covid-19 pandemic should be used to receive cash payments to workers through their employers’ existing payroll system, with the tax office then reimbursing companies within a week or two.

“We will propose that in detail in our alternative budget,” she said. The party is expected to release details of the program within the next two weeks.

Ms Shortall said the scale of the energy and livelihood crises required a similar type of response to that seen by Government during the pandemic.

“We are in a situation where the energy market has collapsed and requires very significant and deep government intervention, which is about protecting families, businesses and jobs,” she said, adding that “speed is of crucial importance”. .

The party is calling for an increase in the fuel allowance of €15 per week for existing recipients and an extension of entitlement to the payment to current recipients of working family allowances.

The party’s environment spokeswoman, Jennifer Whitmore, said there was a lack of government support for solar panel installation and a two-and-a-half year wait for people to have access to retrofits.

“What the government needs to do is rolling [this] very quickly, they need to do this with a focus on immediate solutions,” he said.

Ms Shortall said that households had already started to reduce energy consumption and that the government had a responsibility to make public buildings more energy efficient, noting that Germany and France had done so earlier in the year.

On political matters, Catherine Murphy, the other Social Democrat co-leader, signaled that the party was ready to talk to Sinn Féin after the next election

She said the party’s dual leadership structure could change, but added, “We want to work and I think it was very useful for us to share the burden.”

Ms Murphy said the plan “at the moment” is for her and Ms Shortall to go into the next election as co-leaders. The government has been pushing to set up Covid-style payment support for businesses and employees hit by the energy crisis

Fry Electronics Team

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