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Businesses closed by government order will receive increased financial assistance in the Budget as part of a compensation scheme.

These payments would be granted on a weekly or monthly basis to help them survive with precise amounts yet to be decided.

There is also a proposal to extend a commercial rates holiday into next year for a wide range of businesses.

Carbon tax will go up by €7.50 per tonne adding €1.28 to an average 60-litre tank of petrol and €1.47 to a tank of diesel.

This is expected to come in on Budget night for petrol and diesel but it is likely to be deferred for home heating oil.

Vehicle Registration Tax will also rise to incentivise people to buy more fuel-efficient cars.

On education, there will be funding for around 400 more special educational needs teachers and up to 1,000 additional special needs assistants.


Meanwhile, Minister of State Niall Collins has said that he expects to see some changes being made to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) in the Budget on Tuesday.

Speaking on RTÉ's The Week in Politics, Mr Collins said there are people and sectors currently excluded from the current scheme that may need to be looked at.

On the same programme, Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy said that it seemed that the Minister of State was speaking about "eligibility and not about rates".

Three of the programme's guests - Ms Murphy, Sinn Féin enterprise spokesperson Louise O'Reilly and Solidarity/People Before Profit's Richard Boyd Barrett called for the reinstatement of the PUP.

When asked if it was time to "write the cheques" Ms Murphy said "we have to do that", adding that if the Government under-spends now "we may spend years recovering jobs we need not lose".

Mr Boyd Barrett described the changes to the PUP and to wage subsidy levels as "absolutely disgraceful", adding that it undermines "the solidarity that we are going to need more than ever in the coming weeks in order to defeat the virus".

Mr Boyd Barrett said that he was not suggesting relying on borrowing to fund such measures but called for a solidarity tax to be imposed on both corporations and on the wealthy, and for financial transaction taxes.

Ms O'Reilly said that the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) is describing a "tsunami of debt coming" at families where people have lost their jobs.

She said that, at a minimum, the PUP needed to be reinstated, but that Sinn Féin has also proposed an income continuance and income support scheme in its budget proposals.

Mr Collins said that the Government had "stood foursquare behind people and businesses right throughout the pandemic," and had put its "money where its mouth was".

Mr Collins said that if there is was to be an increase in carbon tax in the Budget, then he "fully expects that they will be offset by measures to buffer and protect vulnerable people".

Mr Collins said that he does not sit in Cabinet, but that this is a previously stated position.

Ms O'Reilly said that climate action cannot be achieved by simply punishing the poor, and that the approach adopted should look at encouraging and incentivising people to go green, as well as making "real investment" in public transport and cycling infrastructure.

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