Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
The Government is to increase the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Support payment for people who have been laid-off due to the virus from €203 to €350.
The payment will also apply to the self-employed affected by the virus.
However, people who are already unemployed due to reasons other than Covid-19 will remain on the usual Jobseekers' Benefit of €203.
The cabinet has also approved an emergency wage subsidy scheme under which the Government will pay 70% of a workers salary up to a cap of €410 per week net - equivalent to the after tax income of a worker on around €38,000.
Workers earning between €38,000 and €76,000 will be entitled to assistance capped at €350, while workers earning above €76,000 will be excluded from the scheme.
The scheme costing an estimated €3.7 billion will initially run for 12 weeks, and employers will be free to top-up the government's element of the salary.
The scheme is targeted at companies hit by the collapse of economic activity triggered by Covid-19 - and employers seeking to avail of it would have to demonstrate a reduction in income of at least 25%, along with cash flow difficulties.