EU Membership vital for Covid-19 efforts – Richmond

21st October 2020 - Neale Richmond, TD

The European Union has attracted the highest demand ever for a bond sale, ensuring member states including Ireland will be well supported during the Covid-19 crisis, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Deputy Neale Richmond, party spokesperson on European Affairs, said the EU sought to raise €17 billion in the sale to fund the SURE programme and attracted demand of over €233 billion.

Deputy Richmond said: “This week the Government made the tough decision to move to Level 5 on the Plan for Living with Covid-19. While this will undoubtedly save lives, it will be very challenging for many businesses.

“The Government is committed to supporting businesses through these tough times, including through the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme and the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme.

“Support from the EU to help us fund these Schemes is vital.

“The purpose of this bond sale by the EU was to raise money to fund the SURE programme to aid Member State’s recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.

“The SURE fund provides up to €100 billion in loans to Member States to help preserve employment, including funding schemes such as those in Ireland.

“Minister Donohoe has already applied to the SURE Scheme for Ireland and we could benefit from up to €2.5 billion.”

Deputy Richmond continued: “This week the EU aimed to raise €17 billion in a bond sale but instead raised over €233 billion.

“With this sale the EU is well on the way to raising the €100 billion required for the SURE programme.

“This is a clear sign that our EU membership will help support us through this Covid-19 crisis.

“The EU’s holds a Triple A credit rating which reflects that borrowings are guaranteed, investing in EU bonds is linked to our high credit quality and that the debt issued by the EU is backed and protected.

“This high credit rating clearly makes the EU a safe and attractive place for investments.

“Indeed, demand for European debt has reached a new high this year.

“Ireland’s EU Membership is a crucial tool in our recovery from the Covid-19 crisis and this bond sale clearly shows that we will be supported through this crisis.

“Through EU membership, Ireland is part of an advanced programme to develop and distribute a potential Covid 19 vaccine, Ireland can access the EU stockpile of PPE and join in EU wide procurement efforts.

“Between the €3.4 billion Recovery Fund included in Budget 2021 and the support of the EU, Irish businesses will be supported through the Covid crisis, allowing businesses to survive and lives to be saved.”

Stay Up To Date With Fine Gael