Restaurants Association of Ireland Welcome launch of Programme for Government

We eagerly await a full and comprehensive plan of supports & grants for the Tourism & Hospitality Sector

The Restaurants Association of Ireland today welcomed the launch of the Programme for Government 2020 including initial measures around Tourism, SME taskforce, Insurance reform and establishment of an Economic Crime Bureau. The Restaurants Association of Ireland have long lobbied for a number of supports announced today, including:

  • Regeneration of our towns and villages.
  • An updated Apprenticeship Action Plan to look at new ways of structuring, funding and promoting apprenticeships.
  • A Jobs Stimulus package which maintains the Temporary Wage Subsidise scheme.
  • A Night-time Economy Taskforce.
  • Promotion of food education in the school curriculum.

However, Adrian Cummins, CEO of the RAI, shared his concerns about lack of other emergency business supports for Tourism and Hospitality. Economist Jim Power has been working on a comprehensive supports package proposal for the Restaurant Sector. He has warned that failure to implement significant supports immediately could result in significant costs on the Exchequer of €2.8 billion over a 24-month period. There will be grave consequences with a continued lack of government support for Irish Hospitality Businesses.

The Sector is eager and waiting to hear from the next Minister responsible for Tourism. Adrian Cummins, CEO of the Restaurant’s Association of Ireland said today:

“We have solutions to save the sector and we can work on them now and implement them together as part of this new Government. It will save the Sector, save small businesses and save jobs. Minister we look forward to hearing from you. While we welcome initial measures announced in the Programme for Government report today, the report by Economist Jim Power is damning evidence that our sector needs support measures put in place immediately.

According to CSO figures for the end of 2019, the restaurant sector employed 179,100, which is the equivalent of 7.6% of total employment in the economy. We need to save these jobs and save businesses. These are Irish businesses and Irish livelihoods on the line. The plan put forward in this report is very comprehensive in both how it will be executed and how much it would cost. But more importantly, it highlights how much it will cost us in the long run to do nothing. Today marks 14 days until restaurants, cafés and gastropubs reopen and some businesses are down to the wire on whether they will pull up the shutters again, concrete and sector specific grant support and extension of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme for a minimum of 12 months are what is needed in the next two weeks. It will be the difference in reopening businesses and not.”

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