OPINION: Hardworking publicans who are trying to open their doors and are complying with recommended regulations are finding that the door keeps closing in their faces, writes Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae
I AM of the firm belief that if you are a worker or if you are a person trying to get employment going in your locality by opening the door of your premises this government’s motto is ‘We will penalise you’.
I make this charge in the wake of information learned that the three party coalition will exclude businesses that have opened prior to August 28 from the €16 million support package for pubs, bars and nightclubs that was announced last week.
The package was to include a 40 per cent top-up to the restart grant for those venues that remain closed to assist with their re-opening. This means certain pubs are eligible to receive a minimum of €5,600 and a maximum of €35,000 under the Restart Grant Plus.
To qualify for the scheme, companies must have a turnover of less than €100,000 per employee and reduced turnover by 25 per cent as a result of Covid-19.
Now, however, pubs who have decided to open in the last number of days and are serving food are to be excluded.
Hardworking publicans who were trying to do their best by opening their public houses before August 28 and were complying with all National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) regulations and serving food now find themselves penalised thanks to this government.
The government is happily going to exclude them from qualifying from the 40 per cent top up of the restart grant in which businesses thought they were going to be eligible for
I believe that this is going to be another body blow to the hardworking publicans and their families throughout the length and breadth of this country, not alone in county Kerry.
I am shocked, horrified and deeply disappointed in this anti-worker ethic by this government who need to answer the question why are they so hell-bent on keeping pubs doors closed and why have they such a dislike for the publicans of Ireland. What have they ever done against the government?
Not only are these people employers but they are tax and revenue collectors for the government through excise duties but yet the door keeps closing in their faces.
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