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Ireland to provide more targeted financial supports from third quarter - minister

·1-min read
Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Galway

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland will provide more targeted financial support from the third quarter for sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as aviation, tourism, hospitality and arts, the country's business minister said on Thursday.

Euro zone finance ministers are likely to decide between March and May when and how governments should start tapering support to their economies as vaccination campaigns allow the lifting of lockdowns, officials said this week.

Leo Varadkar said Dublin will extend into the second quarter its three main supports - higher jobless payments for those temporarily laid of due to the pandemic, a wage subsidy scheme and grants for businesses forced to significantly shut down.

"In the short term, government will extend into quarter two the vital financial supports in place," Varadkar, who is also Ireland's deputy prime minister, told parliament.

"We will also provide more targeted financial support beyond quarter two for those sectors that have been particularly wounded by this pandemic, such as aviation, tourism, hospitality, the arts and entertainment."

The Restaurants Association of Ireland welcomed Varadkar's commitment to additional supports.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Toby Chopra)