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08 Aug 2022

Senator told by Kildare pub owner that his business 'has been destroyed' by EWSS cuts

Senator told by Kildare pub owner that his business 'has been destroyed' by EWSS cuts

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A Senator from Kildare recently informed the Seanad that he was told by one Kildare pub owner that his business "has been destroyed" due to recent Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) cuts.

Labour Senator Mark Wall told those in attendance that the government should implement the immediate reversal of cuts to the EWSS payment, given the current situation of Ireland's hospitability and entertainment sectors due to the latest reintroduction of restrictions.

According to CitizensInformation.ie, under the EWSS scheme, employers and new firms in sectors impacted by Covid-19 whose turnover has fallen 30 per cent get a flat-rate subsidy per week based on the number of qualifying employees on the payroll (including seasonal staff and new employees).

He explained: "There has been much discussion about the reduction of the EWSS payment... like many other
Senators, I have received many calls and emails from those involved in the industry with a very simple message: they need help now."

"Many have informed me that without the assistance of this payment they would simply have to shut and that many staff in the sector would lose their jobs."

The Athy politician then read out an email that he received from a bar operator in his hometown of Athy: "My business has been destroyed.

"It wasn’t too bad before everything reopened to the regular 2:30, but after four weeks of trading late, our customers have disappeared with the new closing times.

"Is there anything that can be done? We were better off closed with the supports and now with the wage subsidy cut our future is not looking good at all with thoughts of complete closure, as we cannot sustain this."

Senator Wall continued: "I hope that the Taoiseach and his colleagues in (the) government have listened to the many calls to reverse this cut and support this industry at this most difficult time for them all."

He doubled down on his view after the debate, where he said: "At what is normally the busiest time of the year for so many operators in this industry, all they are experiencing are cancellations."

"This industry is important, and we must ensure that those who operate in it and are employed servicing it are protected," he added.

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