Grants not the answer to soaring costs crisis – VFI

The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) says that while elements of the supports for business announced by Government are welcome, such as a second payment of the ICOB scheme, the hospitality sector requires strategic measures that will support the pub trade over the long-term.

Pat Crotty, VFI Chief Executive, says: “While we welcome the reopening of the Increased Cost of Doing Business (ICOB) scheme for a further 14 days and an additional payment for businesses in the hospitality sector, grants are not the answer to the crisis facing our members.

“Publicans require meaningful changes to their cost base, such as lowering the standard VAT rate and a reduction in the alcohol excise rate, currently the second highest in Europe. The announcement of a change to the Employer’s PRSI threshold only covers the recent increase in the minimum wage so doesn’t result in any real benefit for our members,” he adds.

“Sick pay benefits and the move to a Living Wage are massive threats to the pub trade without the correct supports. Wage increases have to be paid every Friday so any measures offered by Government must be in the context of that reality,” said Mr Crotty. “If we don’t see a long-term reduction in costs we face the real prospect of a decimated hospitality sector,” concludes the VFI CEO.

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