A group that was appointed by the Irish government to keep track of efforts to support the tourism sector and oversee the implementation of recommendations made to ministers by the Tourism Recovery Task Force has called for the extension of a number of financial supports for the tourism sector.
As reported by The Irish Times, in its first report, the Recovery Oversight Group, which is chaired by former Sunday Tribune editor Nóirín Hegarty, has called for an extension of wage subsidies that are due to conclude at the end of March until the end of June at the earliest, an extension of state compensation for COVID-19-related business closures until the end of 2021, an extension of commercial rates waivers for tourism businesses until the end of 2021, an extension of the tourism sector's 9% VAT rate until 2025, an overhaul of the "stay and spend" scheme, and "clear criteria" for when tourism businesses can reopen as well as "consistent communications from government" about reopening timelines.
The group also wants the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) to be extended for the "hardest hit" tourism businesses until the end of 2021.
Echoing ITIC Calls
The calls made by the Recovery Oversight Group follow similar calls made by the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) both in January and at its online "Leading the Tourism Recovery - ITIC Virtual Conference 2021" event on February 10.
During that event, tourism minister Catherine Martin said that "there will be no cliff-edge for [the tourism] industry."
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