Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
1068. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the financial supports available to local sports clubs during the Covid-19 pandemic in view of the fact many have considerable financial outgoings with fund-raising efforts severely impacted at this time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6758/20]
The Government’s overarching, cross-sectoral approach to the COVID-19 pandemic is to ensure that economic activity recovers as quickly as possible, consistent with public health advice. Measures introduced by the Government to date, which have benefitted national sporting organisations and their local sports clubs, include:
- the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme;
- the Pandemic Unemployment Payment; and
- a series of enterprise supports including liquidity funding, loan schemes and grants\vouchers, as well as deferred tax payments and deferral of commercial rates.
I am acutely aware of the difficulties and challenges facing sporting organisations. A COVID-19 Sports Monitoring Group, chaired at Ministerial level, has been established to engage directly with the sporting bodies. Sport Ireland is also directly engaging with the sporting bodies on an ongoing basis in relation to the development of protocols to facilitate a safe return to training and competition.
This extensive engagement with the sport sector has highlighted the significant, adverse impact of COVID-19 and the importance of implementing an appropriate and focused response to the challenges facing all strands of the sector, ranging from the local sporting organisations and clubs to the National Governing Bodies. It is accordingly intended to develop a Sport Recovery Action Plan, in consultation with the sector, aimed at minimising the impacts and preparing the sector to restart activity, as part of the national recovery and renewal.