Some positives for publicans in Budget 2021, which were much needed in tough times, is the reaction of city centre traders following the big reveal.
Vintners Federation of Ireland Cork City Chairperson and owner of The Castle Inn, Michael O’Donovan said the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) which will provide up to €5,000 funding to businesses forced to close due to restrictions was a very welcome initiative.
“The CRSS is very welcome supports for businesses but the devil will be in the detail of it. Like we are hoping it will be cash grants available and not tax grants but we will know soon enough the detail in it, but it is something that they put on the table so we welcome that,” Mr O’Donovan said.
While pubs serving food were delighted with the VAT reduction from 13.5% to 9%, Mr O’Donovan said this would not benefit pubs that do not serve food and he was disappointed there was no reduction in excise tax on alcohol.
“There is a lot of members who like me wouldn’t serve food in the bar and for those the 9% vat rate isn’t applicable and it was disappointing there was nothing for them in the package.
Owner of Clancy’s on Princes Street, Paul Montgomery said following the budget he was happier than he was last week.
“The fact that we are turning more to food, the VAT rate of 9% is hugely helpful as well,” Mr Montgomery said.
“All in all there are people worse off than us, and from a business point of view if it allows us to retain staff and start up again and retain them that is hugely important “It is better than nothing and on a venue our size it is certainly more palatable in terms of retention of staff and to keep people on the books The CRSS, I think it will help us pay our wages, that would cover that and not having a rates build up is huge (thanks to rates waiver extended to the end of 2020), that had to happen because there is just no money there to pay them. I’m definitely a lot happier than I was last week.”