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Irish recipients of coronavirus wage subsidy surpass 200,000

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Over 200,000 Irish workers are now in receipt of a new wage subsidy scheme, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said on Friday, meaning the state is supporting nearly 30% of the labour force as a direct result of the coronavirus.

The subsidised employees remain on company payrolls but the state is paying 70% of their wages up to a maximum of 410 euros per week. Another 507,000 people could claim the new emergency COVID-19 unemployment payment by Monday, although 33,000 have since closed their claims, most moving to the subsidy scheme.

“We’ll keep them (the new measures) under review. If they need to be changed to deal with the prolonged effect of COVID-19 in our country, we will look at doing that. If they need to be changed as we get ready for recovery, we will do that as well,” Donohoe told national broadcaster RTE.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Mark Heinrich)