December 9, 2021
Government must work with hospitality sector to devise plan for safe return to full trading – Louise O’Reilly TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, has said the hospitality sector must be consulted by Government and involved in the devising of a plan for the sector to achieve a safe return to full trading.

Speaking this afternoon, Teachta O’Reilly said:

 “Today’s changes to the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), and the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), are to be welcomed. 

“For several weeks now Sinn Féin had been calling for these schemes to be extended at their current rates so workers and businesses didn’t face a cliff edge scenario. 

“It is important that the Government use the time afforded by the extension period to tailor the EWSS and CRSS schemes so they can deliver targeted supports for businesses and sectors particularly impacted by the public health restrictions. 

“It is surprising that, in relation to the EWSS, this has not been done. The Government have had 16 months to achieve this since Sinn Féin first called for such an approach in August of last year. 

“In addition, the Government must also begin preparations for a long-term plan for the hospitality sector, which has the aim of achieving a safe return to full trading. 

“This is what the sector wants, and this is what the Government want; however, it needs to be planned for, and the hospitality sector must be central in such planning. 

“The hospitality sector, and the State, are losing money while these necessary public health restrictions are in place; the situation is not ideal for either party. 

“Therefore, the best way to circumvent the difficulties causing the reimplementation of these public health measures is for all parties to get around a table and come up with a detailed and long-term reopening plan, that has as its aim, a safe return to full trading. 

“The Tánaiste indicated to me in the Dáil this morning that the Government will again look at ventilation and other measures, and this is welcome. However, no sustainable reopening plan can be achieved without the consultation and input of the hospitality sector. 

“I would encourage the Government to use the time secured by the EWSS and CRSS extension to tailor those supports so they can be targeted at businesses who need them most, and they must also engage with the hospitality sector to devise a plan to achieve a safe return to full trading.”

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