Unprecedented challenge facing hospitality sector – VFI Statement

While the cancellation of St Patrick’s Day parades nationwide is a blow to the hospitality sector, public health is of paramount importance and publicans fully support the government’s decision.

Padraig Cribben, VFI Chief Executive, says: “We need to work together as a society to combat the coronavirus and, if the situation in Italy is replicated here, difficult decisions will have to be made over the coming weeks. 

“We are now entering a period of prolonged uncertainty, which will have profound consequences for the hospitality sector. The government has announced a support package for businesses that, while welcome, requires urgent clarity.

“Pubs can’t recoup a lost week or month’s trading. While a €200m liquidity fund sounds impressive what does it mean for the small business owner?

“The Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has stated he is ‘aware’ of what the hospitality sector is facing over the coming weeks.  The VFI is urging him to announce a package of measures that will instil confidence in the sector ahead of this unprecedented challenge. A suspension of VAT payments, a reduction in the hospitality VAT rate and deferment of commercial rates for the remainder of 2020 are all options that should be examined,” Mr Cribben concludes.