30 November 2021
By Elaine Murphy
Speaking today, Deputy Ó Laoghaire said:
“The reintroduction of certain public health restrictions for restaurants, bars, nightclubs and the live entertainment sector came as a bitter disappointment to business.
“However, it also came as a cause of concern for the hospitality sector as a whole as additional advice to work from home and reduce social contacts meant the sector has taken another hit as people adhere to the advice.
“As ever, the sector is understanding of the worsening public health situation, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that there are workers, families, and businesses affected by the reintroduction of these restrictions.
“Therefore, it is important that the government supports the sector, and the broader economy, by delaying its scheduled tapering to the Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) until the new year.
“Maintenance of subsidy rates at their current level until the end of this financial year will give support to affected sectors, while also giving the government breathing space to assess the evolving situation.
“The current and evolving Covid situation is complex and multifaceted, especially for businesses. Therefore, Sinn Féin are calling on the government to continue EWSS rates at their current level until the end of this financial year, and review them in advance of the new year, in line with public health guidelines in place at that time.
“We are also calling on the government to use such an extension period to tailor the EWSS scheme so it can deliver targeted wage supports for businesses in sectors that are particularly impacted by public health restrictions.”