New grant scheme for tradespeople includes van insurance

Industry welcomes clarification from Government on Enterprise Support Grant

The Government has clarified that the new grant scheme for tradespeople includes van insurance, following confusion in relation to the matter on Friday.

The insurance industry had complained last week that van insurance was excluded from the list of costs eligible to be claimed under the revamped Enterprise Support Grant.

The grant, worth up to €1,000 per person, is aimed at sole traders such as plumbers, electricians, carpenters and other SMEs that do not pay commercial rates and therefore do not qualify for the Government’s Restart Grant Plus scheme.

The matter has been clarified by Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys.


“Applications for funding are currently being processed by my department as businesses begin to reopen,” she said.

“The grant is available to cover costs incurred by a business since the start of the current pandemic. All costs directly impacting the reopening of a business can be covered by this grant.


“This grant should encourage those in self-employment to transition from Pandemic Unemployment Payment and re-enter employment. The grant application form illustrates a number of common costs that are permitted under this grant.

“Vehicle running costs, which include fuel and servicing, are included on this list. Insuring a vehicle can also be included provided the person can demonstrate that the cost directly relates to the recommencement of their business.

“I would stress that this list is not exhaustive and if someone in self-employment deems that the costs they have incurred were necessary in the reopening of their business then they will be considered by my department for funding.”

Jonathan Hehir, managing director of, welcomed the move. "We commend the immediacy with which they rectified the issue once we brought it to their attention on Friday," he said.

“This clarification means that hundreds, if not thousands, of tradespeople across the country can now restart their business and begin earning a wage – something which they have not been able to do for months.

“We just want to get the word out there to as many plumbers, carpenters, electricians and other tradespeople as possible, that their insurance premiums may now be covered by the €1,000 grant.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter