September 1, 2020
Poor pub supports and Wage Subsidy Scheme change will only deepen economic crisis – Martin Browne TD

“The government must review its support package for our publicans and reconsider the transition from the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) to the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme(EWSS), otherwise the tourism and hospitality sectors are going to face an unprecedented crisis”, Tipperary Sinn Féin TD Martin Browne has warned.

“The government’s increased restart grant for the pub sector bears no resemblance to what is needed by those who have been unable to open their doors to the public since March.

“Since Friday I’ve received a huge number of calls from employers who really thought they’d get a more meaningful and lasting grants package. They feel let down and many are losing hope that the government will deliver the assistance their business needs to survive.

“Either the government is totally unaware of what is going on across this country or are wilfully falling short in providing what is needed.

“But unfortunately, this is just the start of the problems that are facing the hospitality and tourism sectors.

“The transition of the TWSS to the EWSS is another hurdle facing these businesses.

“The new scheme (EWSS) is a one-size-fits all model that will, in reality, suit nobody at all. It will see the payments to employees reduce and will there will be significant delays for employers receiving the government subvention.

“To-date, the TWSS provided for payments of up to €410 per worker, dependent upon their salary and top-ups. The public needs to know that the new scheme (EWSS) will reduce that to an individual payment of between €151.50 and €203 per worker, also dependent upon salary.

“Those earning €151.50 or below will not be eligible whatsoever; which is disgraceful and cannot be tolerated.

“The change is also bad for employers as they could have to wait for up to six weeks to receive the new payment from Revenue.

“Workers and employers in the tourism and hospitality sectors – where the return to work has not been as pronounced as elsewhere – will be particularly impacted by these measures.

“The government must not delay in reviewing both the package of measures for our publicans and the EWSS, or a crisis that is already bad enough, is going to be made even worse.

“Those who have the least will suffer the most.”

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