Minister Humphreys must come before the Dáil to discuss low uptake on support measures – Troy

Published on: 04 June 2020

Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Robert Troy has asked the Business Committee to request Minister Humphreys to come before the Dáil to discuss the low uptake on the recently announced business support measures.

Deputy Troy said it was surprising to see that there was no time scheduled to discuss business matters in the Dáil next week given that we are due to enter stage two of the reopening roadmap. He has asked that Minister Humphreys make herself available to the Dáil each week to discuss proposals for helping businesses to reopen.

He explained, “The recent information provided by the Department in relation to the business support measures is very disappointing. It shows a low uptake of schemes in some instances, while in others it clearly shows that demand far outstrips resources and funding.

“At the outset I warned that stringent criteria and excessive red tape would put businesses off applying for grants while interest rates were simply too high for businesses to apply for loans. There shouldn’t be interest rates upwards of four per cent when the Government can borrow at rates marginally above zero per cent.

“Our predictions have been realised with just 13 applications received for the Sustaining Enterprise Fund for large businesses and six applications for the same fund for smaller businesses.

“On the other side of the coin the number of applications made to the LEO trading online and business continuity schemes have far outnumbered the amount of applications which have been approved.

“Of the 14,719 applications submitted to the LEO Business Continuity Voucher Scheme just 7,073 were successful to date. There were 3,570 applications submitted to the LEO Trading Online Voucher Scheme with just 1,570 approved so far.

“The Minister needs to explain whether thousands of applications have not been successful and why or else explain why they have not yet been assessed.

“I am disappointed to have to ask again for the Minister to come before the house and to have to ask her to listen to proposals and solutions. I would have hoped that she would be eager to make herself available as we progress through the reopening phases.

“The overall health of our economy depends on businesses reopening successfully. They can only do that if they can access supports,” concluded Deputy Troy.