Business Support Scheme details needs to be practical and generous for pubs and small businesses in face of Government imposed costs
The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) has welcomed the allocation of additional resources in the Budget to An Garda Síochána, saying it is vital they go towards putting “extra feet on Dublin’s streets”.
The LVA had raised the need for the Government to provide funding for additional higher visibility policing across the capital to be delivered on a longer term, sustained basis as part of their Budget submission.
“We are happy to see that extra funding has been provided for the Gardaí in the Budget,” said Donall O’Keeffe. “There has been widespread recognition of the need for a more visible policing presence in Dublin for several months. While some of the recent short term actions have helped, we hope these resources will go towards putting extra feet on Dublin’s streets on more sustained basis. This is important for safety across the city and as a means of addressing any negative perceptions that have developed regarding public order and safety in recent times.”
The LVA also said it was positive that the need to address business costs for small and medium businesses, such as pubs, was recognised, but they are guarded in terms of a fuller reaction until the details of the scheme can be examined. “Government policy will be a huge driver of our costs in 2024 – from the increased VAT rate on food, to the 12% increase in the minimum wage, to the expanded Sick Pay Scheme and the pension auto enrolment. Taking that into account, the Business Support Scheme will need to be a programme that is practical for small business. That was one of the major issues with the Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) – it sounded good on paper but in reality it was difficult to access and ended up providing little by way of actual relief.
“Given the significant additional costs that pubs and other hospitality businesses will be facing in the months ahead, especially those which are being imposed by Government, how accessible this programme proves to be and what level of aid is to be provided will really show whether this is actually about helping businesses or if it is just another scheme built with smoke.
“We are also disappointed that the Government has once again refused to reduce excise duty, with Ireland continuing to be at the highest levels in Europe and missing a straightforward measure which would directly aid hospitality businesses,” Mr. O’Keeffe concluded.