Thursday, 30 July 2020
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
I thank the Deputies for raising this important issue. I share their sentiments. I too would like to see pubs and bars open on 10 August if it is possible for them to do so within the public health guidelines. I hope we will be able to make that decision in the affirmative next Tuesday but I cannot guarantee it at this stage. I totally agree that pubs offer significant employment throughout the country and are also really important to our social fabric, not just in rural areas but in urban areas too. A package will be in place to support them. In fact, it is here already and it includes no commercial rates for six months, a restart grant of between €4,000 and €25,000 for every pub, the wage subsidy scheme to allow publicans to take back or take on staff and have their pay subsidised by the State, a VAT cut of 2% applying to alcohol beverages, and the spend and save scheme, which will apply to food. Will we consider doing more? We can do so, but I think there is already a substantial package in place. The problem is that the pub owners cannot open and I hope that question can be decided in the affirmative next week.