Ireland extends main COVID-19 supports for businesses

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Phased re-opening of retail after COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, in Dublin

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland will extend the main financial supports for firms hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, including wage subsidies, grants, tax debt warehousing and a commercial rates waiver, the government said on Tuesday.

The wage subsidy scheme, which is supporting some 300,000 jobs, will be extended until the end of the year and be available to any business whose turnover is down 30% or more compared with 2019, the government said.

New grants will also be available to firms whose turnover is still down by 75% on 2019 levels from September, it added.

The government will also maintain a lower 9% VAT rate for the hospitality sector until September 2022, while also phasing out temporary coronavirus-related jobless payments from September to February 2022.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Andrew Heavens)