Retrospective Demands of Repayment by Barristers Completely Unfair
Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has criticised the unfair and retrospective demands for repayment of supports by Barristers under the Government’s Restart Grant Plus Scheme.
Tóibín: “In a retrospective, unfair and highly unusual move, 150 Barristers were informed yesterday that they were to pay back grants under the Restart Grant Plus Scheme. Over 500 Barristers have been adversely affected by the request. They have now been retrospectively adjudicated to be have been ineligible to receive the payment. This is despite the fact the funds were already paid over to them and their applications for support funds under the scheme approved by Dublin City Council. This would be affecting the most junior of barristers and those who had lost over 25% of their income due to Covid-19.”
“This means many of the worst hit barristers are suddenly having to cough up more than €5’000 after having relied on the Scheme to keep themselves afloat. Anyone who applied for support under the Restart Gran Plus Scheme who shared work space and paid rates were told that their applications would be approved. A new requirement has been introduced after the fact where rent desks in the Law Library are not now considered to be a rateable space for the purposes of the scheme. It is grossly unfair to change the rules after paying out and then pulling the rug from underneath those barristers .”