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Restaurants seeing 80% corporate booking cancellations

The Restaurants Association of Ireland has urged the Government to immediately implement emergency business supports to prevent closures and job losses as the spread of coronavirus hits the industry.

The association said that its members are experiencing 80% corporate booking cancellations due to Covid-19. 

It said the cancellation of the St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin will result in more financial losses for restaurants and local businesses.

But it added that it fully supports the Government’s decision to cancel all parades in the interest of public safety.

“The cancellation of one of the biggest tourism draws of the year is a further blow to many restaurant businesses and could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back,” Adrian Cummins, CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, said. 

“While our number one priority is the safety of our customers and the public, we need the Government to step up and step in and help Irish restaurants survive,” he added. 

The association wants the Government to immediately cut the VAT rate to 9% for tourism and hospitality businesses for a minimum of six months.

It also wants to see banks deferring loan repayments for at least six months and says that Revenue should introduce a moratorium on VAT payments.

It also calls for employers’ PRSI to be halved in order to support employers.

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