August 5, 2020
Compensation for closed pubs essential to their survival – Louise O’Reilly TD

Louise OR' ReillySinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, Employment,and Workers’ Rights Louise O’Reilly has said the government must compensate ‘wet pubs’ which will now have to stay closed following the decision to keep them closed in the interest of public health.

Speaking this morning, Teachta O’Reilly said: “All decisions as regards the reopening of different aspects of the economy must be guided by the advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team.

“While the decision has been taken in the best interest of public health, the continued closure of these pubs is putting considerable strain on workers and proprietors.

“These ‘wet pubs’ have looked on as other pubs licensed to serve food were allowed to reopen, and they had hoped that they would be issued with similar opening guidelines so they could recommence service.

“This is now the third time that ‘wet pubs’ have had their reopening pushed back, and they have remained closed since March 15th.

“The situation for these pubs – many of them rural – is understandably quite difficult now that reopening has once again been pushed back.

“As the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) have said, ‘the sympathy being expressed by Government figures will not save pub businesses or jobs’.

“These ‘wet pubs’ need a meaningful support package from the state. 

“The government should look at increasing grants for these pubs as well as the extension of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) for workers in these ‘wet pubs’.

“‘Wet pubs’ may be allowed to reopen in three weeks, at the earliest, with the TWSS to end in less than four weeks. It is therefore important that the government look at elongating the scheme specifically for workers in these pubs.

“In addition, these ‘wet pubs’ should also be issued with additional grand aid of either €12,000 or €25,000 depending on their size.

“Sinn Féin previously proposed these measures in the run-up to the July Stimulus, and the opportunity is still there for the government to act.

“If something is not done for these pubs, then many will simply not be able to reopen and these businesses and the jobs will be lost.”

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