The Restaurants Association of Ireland has said that the omission of a decrease in the tourism VAT rate in the July stimulus package is a ‘nail in the coffin for border restaurant & hospitality businesses competing with 5% rate in Northern Ireland’.

“July stimulus is cold comfort to thousands of Restaurant and Hospitality Businesses across the country,” said Adrian Cummins, CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland.

The RAI welcomed the extension of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS), however said the absence of tangible business supports shows lack of imagination, understanding and disconnect from small businesses in Ireland.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland has expressed concern that the lack of legislative issues addressed in the July Stimulus package such as insurance reform and commercial leases could prove detrimental to the industry.  There are concerns that without further supports implemented, many local businesses, the backbone of Irish communities, will close permanently.

Adrian Cummins said: “We appeal to Government to support businesses to reopen, to retain employees and keep the economy going.  To ignore immediate legislative issues such as insurance reform and commercial leases until October’s Budget would result in the demise of a significant number of businesses and immediate job losses.  I am appealing to the Government to rethink this decision and to support independent tourism and hospitality businesses around the country with a targeted grants package.”

If the government fails to act, this lack of support for Irish restaurants could cost the state €2.8bn over the next 24-month post-COVID 19 period, according to Economist Jim Power’s report “Restaurant Recovery Plan” presented to all Government Departments and TD’s in June.

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