Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

10.03 30 Jun 2020


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Hotel owners say up to 180,000 jobs are at risk in the sector people because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Hotels Federation will appear before the Oireachtas COVID Committee later, where they'll call for a cut in the VAT rate along with wage supports and other measures.

The organisation's Chief Executive Tim Fenn said business will be down almost three quarters on last year.

He said: "The hit to our sector has been enormous.

"We're looking for sector specific measures, liquidity measures, employment supports to continue... and we're also looking for measures around the Government-controlled costs.

"Given the enormous challenges ahead, Government must now put tourism at top of its economic policy agenda."

He pledged to work with the new Tourism Minister Catherine Martin to ensure the sector isn't left behind.

The challenges facing small and medium businesses will also discussed at the committee meeting today.

SME Recovery Ireland is expected to call for a Government bailout of the sector.

Chair of SME Recovery Ireland, John Moran, said measures announced to date simply haven't worked.

He said: "If the incoming Government engages directly with small firms, they will quickly understand that easy access to cash grants and not debt is the only measure that will really save them.

"Words of encouragement or schemes on paper simply will not suffice at this stage."

Main image: File photo. Image by ming dai from Pixabay

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