IHF President Wants EWSS Extended And Moratorium On Debt Repayment Restored

By Dave Simpson
IHF President Wants EWSS Extended And Moratorium On Debt Repayment Restored

In light of the possibility that the hospitality sector will remain closed for at least several more months and restrictions on overseas travel due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) president Elaina Fitzgerald Kane has said that she wants the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), which is currently due to end on March 31, extended and the banks' moratorium on debt repayment, which was in place from March until October of 2020, restored.

EWSS And Commercial Rates Wavier

As reported by The Irish Times, speaking on The Irish Times' "Inside Business" podcast, Fitzgerald Kane said, "The reality is that we're going to need [the EWSS] until the end of 2021."

Talking about the commercial rates waiver, which is due to the end at the end of 2020's first quarter, Fitzgerald Kane noted that the UK has a 12 month wavier, and stated, "Ours is a piecemeal approach that goes down to the wire every single time. And the reality is if we had money, are we going to pay rates or put that money into trying to sustain and restore employment? It would be a very easy decision for me."

Moratorium On Debt Repayment

The IHF president also said that she would like finance minister Paschal Donohoe to encourage the banks to restore the moratorium on debt repayment, and said, "When you are paying out and there's no money coming in...that is causing huge stress from a solvency perspective, especially when you are trying to lay the foundations for reopening. You are at the discretion of the bank and, if you change anything, forbearance kicks in and that changes your credit rating and your opportunities going forward. That is something that should be easy to address right now."

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