Hotel and Pub Sector Dissatisfied With Government Supports for Businesses, Representatives Respond

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Tipperary Hoteliers say they are very disappointed with the latest Government support package for business operators. Patrick Kickham Lennon, the Chair of the IHF South East Branch, says yesterday’s announcement of a range of measures is a missed opportunity and overlooks the majority of small and medium sized hotels.

The hotel representative says the sector is facing ever-increasing business costs, much of which are a result of the Government’s own policy interventions – in areas such as rates of minimum wage, statutory sick pay and pension auto enrollment. The IHF says the measures fail to address the enormous underlying challenges facing the sector, which is an important part of the wider tourism industry and that the measures have a minimal impact. The IHF is seeking a fundamental restructuring of employer’s PRSI for the sector and reforms of Increased Cost of Business Scheme which excludes businesses with a rates bill of above €30,000 which covers most hotels. The IHF says the VAT increase erodes competitiveness especially in rural Ireland and again calls for a 9% rate.

The Vintners Federation were also somewhat critical of the new business support measures and, while welcoming a new sector specific ICOB, wants a range of strategic measures for the hospitality sector  that will support the pub trade over the long-term.

Pat Crotty, VFI Chief Executive, says grants are not the answer to the crisis faced by publicans. The VFI is calling for a lowering the standard VAT rate and a reduction in the alcohol excise rate and notes that cost increases due to the living wage and sick leave pay are permanent and that measures offered by the Government must be in the context of that reality.