Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
988. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he received the proposals sent to him by an association (details supplied); and if he will consider adopting the proposals listed in the document to help operators which have experienced a severe downturn due to Covid-19. [5865/20]
The Government has put in place a range of measures to assist businesses during the current COVID-19 pandemic, including a waiver of commercial rates and the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme. Self-employed owner operators of SPSVs, including limousine operators, may also avail of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 a week.
I am aware that the limousine trade is particularly reliant on the tourism and hospitality sector. Since late February officials from my Department have engaged with industry with a view to understanding the challenges facing the sector. In addition, with my colleague, Minister of State Griffin, I have established the COVID-19 Tourism Monitoring Group. This group comprises industry stakeholders, the tourism agencies and Departmental officials and has been specifically established to monitor the disruption to the tourism sector and to assist in formulating the sector’s response to the crisis.
We are continuing to liaise with Government colleagues and industry representative bodies, to align the economy wide COVID-19 supports and initiatives with the needs of the tourism and hospitality sector. As a result, many tourism businesses are now availing of the various supports that the Government has already put in place. We are also engaging with the Banking and Payment Federation of Ireland and Insurance Ireland to address issues encountered by tourism businesses. Fáilte Ireland’s COVID-19 Business Support Hub also provides a suite of targeted supports for tourism businesses, to enable them to respond to the challenges and threats now being faced in the sector. Any further measures will be considered in the context of the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.