Hospitality and arts sector to warn of mass job losses before Covid-19 committee

Hospitality and arts sector to warn of mass job losses before Covid-19 committee
Tim Fenn, chief executive of the Irish Hotels Federation says business will be down almost three quarters on last year.

Hoteliers say they may have to lay off up to 180,000 people because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Representatives will appear before the Oireachtas Covid Committee later, where they will call for VAT to be cut from 13.5% to 5%, along with wage supports and rates cuts.

SME Recovery Ireland is also expected to call for a government bailout of the sector.

Tim Fenn, chief executive of the Irish Hotels Federation says business will be down almost three quarters on last year.

Mr Fenn says: "The hit to our sector has been enormous and we have put together a plan that could see us restoring employment and revenues back to 2019 levels by 2025.

"That can't happen without government support. We are looking for sector-specific measures to liquidity measures, for employment supports to continue.

"We are also looking for measures around government-controlled costs."

The Irish Tourism Industry Confederation has also warned of the impact of Covid-19 on the wider industry.

The group, whose members are drawn from private and State-owned companies and organisations north and south, says the tourism sector needs €1.5bn in grants and liquidity supports from the new Government’s stimulus package next month if many firms are to survive the summer and the winter with no money.

Meanwhile, the arts sector is losing an estimated €2.7m per month due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The National Campaign for the Arts is to meet with the Special Committee on Covid-19 Response today.

It will express concern over the reduced capacity in venues making it impossible to put on a profitable performance.

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