février 8, 2023


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16 companies voluntarily withdrew from Covid support programs and paid 25.5 million euros

Nine companies have repaid a cumulative €21 million in Covid-19 wage support to revenue commissioners after voluntarily removing themselves from the government’s main Covid-19 wage support system.

The new figures provided by Finance Minister Paschal Donohue also show that seven other employers have voluntarily withdrawn partly from the Work Wage Support Scheme (EWSS) and repaid just over €4.5 million.

In a written response from Dail, Mr Donohoe said: « A total of 402 employers have paid all claims claimed in full since the inception of the EWSS, which totaled approximately €52 million plus 3,331 partial payments totaling approximately €54 million. »

Mr Donohoe said another 860 employers made €10.9 million in Temporary Wage Support Scheme (TWSS) payments after they found out they were ineligible or their business was doing better than they expected when they entered the schemes.


The minister revealed that Revenue has audited 212 companies registered under the EWSS through its compliance program through December 31, 2021.

He stated that 77 of these audits have been completed, a realization of approximately 1.5 million euros and 135 are still ongoing.

“A total of 5,594 other registered employers have undergone compliance screening under the compliance program as of December 31, 2021,” he said.

“Overall, revenue from EWSS-related interventions with 3,500 employers ended, offsetting €19.2 million, which is 0.3% of the total support paid. There are further compliance checks with 2,306 employers, which will be completed in time. the appropriate.

Minister Donohoe stated that Revenue has also completed compliance assessments for employers claiming EWSS.

He said: « There are currently 60 subscriptions collected in the amount of 5.1 million euros, of which four have appealed (to the Tax Appeals Commission) for 1 million euros. »

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In a series of Dail responses to TDs Ged Nash and Brendan Griffin on the issue, Mr. Donohoe stated that wage subsidy schemes are « characterized by a high degree of compliance by recipient companies ».

He said: “In financial terms, the total support provided to date by the EWSS exceeds more than 7 billion euros, including direct support payments of 6.12 billion euros, and PRSI has ceded 956 million euros to 51,900 employers in respect of more than 706700 employees. . »

On the issue of companies paying a dividend while claiming the EWSS, Secretary Donohue told Deputy Nash: “It is very likely that the vast majority of employers who have claimed wage support for COVID-19 did not have enough to pay dividends during the pandemic.


He added, « It is not clear to me what impact a total ban on dividend payments, or indeed a cap on such payments, will have on the employment prospects of those 700,000 employees whose employers have been supported by EWSS payments. »

He added that he would « keep this matter under review and assess whether it is appropriate to introduce any additional terms in the scheme. »

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« This issue requires careful consideration to ensure that companies that may be profitable, but are much less profitable than they have been in the past, will not be prevented from participating in the scheme in the future, » he said.

He pointed out that such companies may still need this support to have a successful and viable future. It will be important that any changes are proportionate and not undermine the public policy rationale underlying the scheme, which is to maintain employment.”

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Mr. Donohoe noted that the eligibility criteria for wage support plans did not include any requirements regarding a company paying a dividend or dividend to its shareholders.

He said, “Therefore, there is no objection to employers paying dividends to their shareholders, and this is a business decision for the company to take based on its financial circumstances.