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RAI Says Half Of Restaurants Are Facing Permanent Closure

By Dave Simpson

According to the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI), half of restaurants are facing permanent closure due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to rte.ie, today (Tuesday March 23), the RAI will call for the hospitality sector VAT reduction from 13.5% to 9% to remain in place until 2025 and for the waiver on commercial rates paid to local authorities to remain in place for the rest of 2021.

Existing Supports "Do Not Go Far Enough"

RAI CEO Adrian Cummins will reportedly tell members of the Joint Committee on Tourism that existing supports "do not go far enough", and that the COVID Recovery Support Scheme must be extended to include level three restrictions and the rate must be doubled to cover fixed costs.

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Cummins will also reportedly tell politicians that restaurants have received "little to no payment by insurance companies on business interruption claims", and that landlords have been seeking full rents for the closure period and utilities providers have been disconnecting services to restaurants and other hospitality sector businesses.

The RAI estimates that the restaurant sector generates more than €3 billion annually for Ireland's economy.

IHF Requests

Separately, the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) will reportedly tell members of the Joint Committee on Tourism that banks must be permitted to give businesses moratoriums on loan repayments, and will also request that hotel sector employees be permitted to defer mortgage payments.

According to the IHF, revenue across the Irish sector declined by over €2.5 billion, or 60%, last year, and the immediate outlook for the sector remains exceptionally challenging this year.

© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
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