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495,100 employees in receipt of Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme

Just under half a million workers have had their pay subsidised under the government’s Temporary Wage Subsidy scheme at a total cost of €1.244 billion, according to the latest figures from the Revenue Commissioners. 

Over 57,200 employers have now registered for the scheme, of whom over 50,500 have already received subsidy payments.

According to the Revenue Commissioners, over 495,100 employees have received a subsidy since the TWSS began. 

250,600 employees received a subsidy in the last week, and 410,000 employees are currently being supported by the scheme, having received a subsidy in their most recent pay period.

The Revenue Commissioners described today’s figure of 410,000 workers as ” …a lower bound estimate and will increase as end of month payslips are received for monthly-paid employees.”

The €1.244 billion cost of the TWSS includes €122 million in income tax refunds paid out during the same period.

81% of workers in the TWSS are receiving some degree of “top-up” from their employer. 

While 31,100 workers have left TWSS-subsidised employment and are now receiving the €350 per week Pandemic Unemployment Payment, 40,200 people have closed their PUP claims to move back into TWSS-subsidised jobs.

A further 53,200 have left TWSS-subsidised work, with 34,100 in non-TWSS jobs with the same employer, and 3,800 in non-TWSS work with a different employer.

300 have moved to Jobseekers’ Benefit, and 1,600 are now receiving Illness Benefit. 

The Revenue figures (which exclude the public sector and workers receiving occupation pensions) clearly indicate the dramatic extent to which both workers’  incomes and tax revenue have dropped since the Covid-19 crisis began. 

In January, 1.9 million workers received total gross pay of €6.187 billion, averaging €3,249 per worker per month. 

However, based on preliminary data for April reflecting substantial job losses, 1.61 million workers (almost 300,000 fewer) earned gross pay of €4.745 billion – with average monthly pay falling to €2,947. 

The state has also lost out significantly on tax. 

The total income tax take in January from workers was €1.077 million – but by last month, that had fallen €842 million. 

The €211 million in USC paid in January fell to €169 million last month, with Employee PRSI decreasing from €220 million to €166 million over the same period. 

The state revenue from Employer PRSI reduced from €595million to €423 million.

However, the figures are even more stark for employees covered by the TWSS, who must earn less than €76,000 to qualify for a wage subsidy. 

In January, 470,000 such workers earned total gross pay of €1.347 billion, averaging €2,852 per month. 

By April, that had plummeted to total gross pay of €511 million, or a monthly average of €1,096. 

The income tax take from such workers collapsed from €170 million in January, to a shortfall of €24 million.

TWSS workers paid USC totalling €35 million in January, but in April, the state took in just €2 million from them. 

Employee PRSI contributions totaling €48 million in January plummeted to just €8 million in April, with employer PRSI contributions dropping from €131 million in January to €24 million over the same period. 

The sectors with greatest share of workers receiving the TWSS subsidy are Of workers receiving the government earnings subsidy, 23.9% are in the wholesale and retail trade (23.9%), manufacturing (14.5%), construction (10.6%)  and accommodation and food services (9.9%). 

Between them, Dublin City and County accounted for 42.9% of employees and 32.1% of employers covered by the TWSS.

The 12-week TWSS was launched on the 26th March to assist employers whose businesses had been hit by the Covid-19 crisis, by allowing them to maintain a link with their workers, rather than laying them off.

It was felt that this would make it easier to re-start businesses as the economy re-opened.

It is expected that the government will extend the scheme beyond its original termination date of 18 June, but it is as yet unclear whether its terms will be amended, and if so, to what extent.

In the initial phase from 26 March, eligible employers were reimbursed a maximum subsidy of €410 in respect of each eligible employee, regardless of the employee’s income. From May 5 onwards, TWSS is based on each eligible employee’s average net weekly pay for January and February 2020, calculated from the payroll submissions made (to Revenue) by the employer for that period.

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