"I'm very aware of the extraordinary pressures facing businesses". These were the sentiments expressed by Minister for Tourism & Sport, Catherine Martin, who visited the Shannonside Northern Sound region yesterday.
The Carrickmacross native was responding to questions about the closure of restaurants and hotels, and the fears in the sector over the reintroduction of the 13% VAT rate next year. The Minister said the hospitality sector supported 260,000 jobs nationally, 170,000 of which were based outside of Dublin.
She added how the Budget indicated the Government's commitment to the sector and highlighted how measures would be reviewed again in February. "We didn't put in the supports we put in place during the Covid-19 pandemic - those unprecedented times - for businesses to close now.
"We are determined as a Government to support those businesses to stay. I am acutely aware of the importance of these businesses to the region," concluded the Minister.