More than 400 publicans are expected to gather for the 43rd annual get-together which began today and runs until Wednesday.
A motion on getting the new government to help reduce the cost of doing business in Ireland outlines how this in turn will enable small and medium-sized businesses meet growing labour costs and remain viable.
“While there’s been a level of improvement within the trade over the past year, it still faces significant challenges, none more so than the cost of doing business,” pointed out VFI Chief Executive Pádraig Cribben, “This is quite evident when you consider the escalating cost of insurance, the level of commercial and water rates and other compliance and regulatory impositions.
“The reality of the situation is that these costs are hampering the progress of small business owners and publicans across Ireland. It’s crucial the new Government and other regulatory bodies recognise this and offers its support.”
At this year’s AGM, a motion will also be debated seeking a root-and-branch overhaul of how claims are handled and addressed. It calls on the government to strengthen the role of the t and to find means to reduce the overall legal costs involved in settling claims.
“As is stands, the cost of settling insurance claims in Ireland is out of control” explained Padraig Cribben, “particularly in comparison to other countries. This is having a severe knock-on effect resulting in rising insurance premiums not only for publicans but across the board.
“If claims need to be settled, the courts should be the last rather than the first place to go,” he continued, “Enhanced empowerment of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board would be a step in the right direction in terms of reducing costs in this regard.”
Other motions for discussion call for a greater VFI input to tourism policy and planning. The Irish pub is Ireland’s most popular tourist destination and the VFI network of Pubs has a lot to offer in enhancing this brand, believes the VFI.