Tánaiste To Propose Support For Pubs If They Are Unable To Reopen On August 31
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that he hopes to bring a package of financial support measures for pubs to the Cabinet for approval on August 28 if pubs that do not serve food are unable to reopen on August 31.
As reported by The Business Post, Varadkar stated that it is becoming "increasingly clear" that there are a number of sectors that may be unable to resume trading for "many months" due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, and that it is his intention to provide supports for those sectors.
He said, "We don't know yet when the pubs, for example, will be able to open, so it is my view that those sectors that have been ordered by government to close for reasons [related to] the pandemic will need extra care, extra attention and extra support, because we want them still to be there when we get through this, and that means a survival plan for industries. That's one of the things that I've spoken to publicans about [on Tuesday August 11]."
LVA And VFI Call For Financial Aid
The Tánaiste's announcement comes as the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) call for the introduction of a pub support package that would provide direct financial aid to pubs that are closed by order of the government.
In a statement published on both the LVA and VFI websites, the two associations said, "[Such a support package should be] calculated on a pro-rata weekly basis, linked to the Re-start Grant Plus scheme announced by the government. The Re-start Grant Plus scheme is being provided by the government to all business sectors, including hospitality businesses such as restaurants, cafés, hotels as well as pubs who serve food. These businesses were able to resume trading since 29 June, meaning the grant aid has been provided to assist them after a maximum closure of 15 weeks. The level of payment provided is linked to their commercial rates and ranges from €4,000 to €25,000. Under the pub support package proposed by the vintners, this system of payment would be provided on the same pro-rata weekly basis to pubs for as long as they must continue to keep their doors closed by order of the government. Accordingly, the payments would range from a low of €270 weekly to a high of €1,650 weekly depending on the rateable valuation of the premises. It would apply from 29 June onwards for each week the Ghovernment keeps these pubs closed."
The LVA and VFI are also calling for the Maintenance of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) to remain at current rates for all closed pubs until they are able to reopen, and an extension of current licences for a period of one year until September 2021 for all licensed premises, except for any licence renewals to which the Gardaí intend to object this coming September.
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