The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) has launched a nine-point COVID-19 crisis recovery plan for the restaurant industry.
According to the RAI, 120,000 restaurant jobs are at permanent risk in the next two months, with over 90% of restaurants currently being closed due to the COVID-19 crisis
RAI CEO Adrian Cummins stated, "Our plan, which is the only viable solution for restaurants, is on the desks of ministers and departments. We are seeking urgent action to save and recover our industry as nine out of 10 restaurants face permanent closure in the months ahead without urgent action."
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The RAI's recovery plan calls for:
- a 0% VAT rate for tourism and hospitality for the period of the crisis and for 12 months thereafter, and then a reversion to 9% for a period of five years;
- legislation to protect commercial leaseholders and any mortgage holiday or write offs to be passed on to the leaseholder;
- no banking fees for hospitality until a vaccine is found, ECB interest rates on loans and a moratorium on existing loan repayments;
- pay-outs under business interruption and notifiable disease clauses, forbearance in either rebates or extensions to policies for the period of closure, and no suspension of cover while businesses are closed;
- continued supports for restaurants and hospitality until a vaccine is found, and support for people over the age of 66 and seasonal workers in the PUP and wage subsidy schemes;
- a DBEI package of grants for businesses to cover outgoings in the first six months following the return of normal trading;
- a rates write off for restaurants and hospitality for the full crisis period until a vaccine is found;
- a ban on utility providers cutting off services and demanding payments when businesses are closed, and a review of standing charges for the closure period;
- and a waiver of licences for outdoor tables and chairs for one year to enable businesses to reopen and adapt to social distancing using outdoor spaces.
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