Statement From Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, President Of The Irish Hotels Federation
The Irish Hotels Federation welcomes the initial measures announced by the Minister for Finance, Pascal Donohue today. However they fall well short of addressing the significant challenges being faced now by businesses. Safeguarding public health is our absolute priority but this must go hand in hand with ensuring we have a viable economy after this crisis has passed. Decisive action is needed now to save large parts of the economy and the future livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people, including 260,000 jobs in tourism and hospitality.
One of the lessons learnt from the financial crisis was the requirement to act extremely quickly so that large parts of the economy are not obliterated, with long-term consequences. Cash flow is the killer of businesses in crises like this. The IHF is calling on An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Finance Paschal to implement measures that will assist with cash flow now as well as reducing the rates of VAT and PRSI, and arrangements for the deferral of these payments. We also call on the Government to waive local authority rates until this crisis is over, together with the introduction of direct business supports including finance and marketing assistance.
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport with Ministers Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin have recognised the deep crisis facing the tourism, hospitality and leisure sectors and sought Government agreement for urgent assistance that would have eased cash flow pressures. The Government must safeguard this essential indigenous industry that employs over 260,000 across every town and county, accounting for one in every 10 jobs and contributing over €9.2 billion in revenue to the economy.”