Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.24 24 Aug 2020


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Pubs that are still closed under public health guidelines have debts of €16,000 or more since lockdown began, according to the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI).

A new survey has found 65% of these pubs believe they will go out of business by January 2021, based on current conditions.

Some 96% believe the Government does not have a plan that will allow non-food pubs to re-open during the crisis, while 92% believe pubs have been scapegoated during this crisis.

And 91% are not satisfied with the Government's handling of the crisis.

Padraig Cribben is chief executive of the VFI.

He told Pat Kenny this situation is not sustainable.

"We probably didn't need the survey to know the extreme stress that is out there, we didn't need the survey to know that people are under enormous financial and mental pressures.

"I think the important thing to remember is even though these businesses have been closed, there are still business bills coming in - as distinct from the day-to-day living that you and I and everybody else has.

"The average debt level that has increased [sic] is over €16,000 since last March: no business can sustain that type of scenario.

"If you look at it from our perspective, our priority really is to be allowed open with guidelines and to operate in a safe manner.

"The trade is used to - over the last decades, and indeed centuries - of dealing with regulation, and many want to do that.

"But failing that we are now the last bastion, as it were, that has been told 'you may not open'.

"And failing being allowed to open then, a suite of measures has to be put in place to give support to those that are not open".

On such measures, he said: "What we have seen in the three counties that were closed down - Kildare, Laois and Offaly - Government came up very quickly with a suite of supports that could support those three counties.

"And if they can do that very quickly for businesses that had been allowed open, I see no reason why they can't do something similar".

Some 1,539 publicans whose pub is still closed took part in the survey - about 50% of the overall total.

Main image by David Gallie from Pixabay 

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COVID-19 Support Package Closed Pubs Debt Guidelines Padraig Cribben Pat Kenny Pubs Survey VFI

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