The Covid Restrictions Support Scheme is now available to all publicans including pubs that are closed and businesses that choose to remain open until 8pm.
The VFI has welcomed this change to qualifying criteria that now permit pubs with a turnover of up to 40% of 2019’s trade (compared to 25% in the original scheme) to be eligible. Under the current circumstances, the CRSS will be available until the end of January 2022.
The reopening of the EWSS scheme for new entrants and the extension of the tax warehousing programme have also been welcomed by the Federation whose Chief Executive Padraig Cribben also expressed certain reservations about the arrangement.
“While we welcome Government’s new support package for the hospitality trade, it’s important to state that publicans would prefer to be fully open and trading during what’s usually the very busy Christmas season,” he said, “Our members are shocked by what has happened over the past week, so these supports are the very least they can expect.
“The supports will in no way compensate publicans who’ve endured a torrid 20 months, but access to financial support during the period is crucial.
“The CRSS is only available until the end of January so the big question is what happens then? We’ve spent the past almost two years begging Government for a roadmap out of the crisis but with Covid looking like it will be with us for a long time to come there remains no plan for the future. We need to work with Government to put in place a real plan to live safely and viably with this virus.”