CORONAVIRUS

Restaurants' group supports St Patrick's Day decision, but say loss will be 'huge'

Calls for supports to be implemented

Sam Matthews

Reporter:

Sam Matthews

Email:

sam.matthews@kilkennypeople.ie

KILKENNY

Kilkenny: The Restaurants Association of Ireland has said it supports the Government's decision to cancel St Patrick's Day festivities, but says the loss to the sector will be significant

The Restaurants Association of Ireland has said it supports the Government's decision to cancel St Patrick's Day festivities, but says the loss to the sector will be significant.

“While the financial loss to restaurants and local businesses will be huge this St Patrick’s Day, the Restaurants Association of Ireland fully supports the government’s decision to cancel all parades in the interest of public safety," said a statement issued today.

"However, the losses to restaurants and the hospitality sector need to be taken into consideration by the government. We are demanding that the government immediately implement emergency business supports to prevent closures and job losses."

"What we’re hearing from our members is that they are experiencing 80% corporate booking cancellations due to COVID-19. The cancellation of one of the biggest tourism draws of the year is a further blow to many restaurant businesses and could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. While our number one priority is the safety of our customers and the public, we need the government to step up and step in and help Irish restaurants survive.”

 The Restaurant Association’s top four asks of the government are:

Immediate reduction of the VAT rate to 9% for Tourism and Hospitality businesses for a minimum period of 6 months
Irish Banks must defer loan repayments for at least 6 months
Revenue must introduce a moratorium on VAT payments
Employer PRSI must be halved to support employers.