A MOTHER of two living in Cork County has said she is hoping Budget 2021 will prioritise health, housing and climate change next Tuesday, saying they are the “big-ticket items” that cannot be ignored, Covid or no Covid.
Kylie Basnett, living in Watergrasshill said she would also like to see support for the hospitality industry, which she works in and increased assistance to self-employed as her husband runs his own business in the agricultural sector.
“I think that this budget will be unlike any other budget in that it must try and manage the severe financial strain from Covid-19.
Kylie is the corporate sales manager for Trigon Hotels and her husband Trevor has his own company Ryalls Farm Machinery.
Chatting about her family and what they would like to see, Kylie said: “Trevor is self-employed and whilst there have been positive moves in the last number of years with regards to the self-employed, there is always room for more.
“The SME sector employs so many people in the State but I do feel that they are sometimes forgotten particularly in budget decisions. Trevor is hoping to see some measures to assist those working in the agricultural sector.
“I am also hoping to see some tax relief for the self-employed. Covid-19 has been extremely challenging for our household and so, this budget is all about the financial measures and assistance that may be put in place.”
In terms of her own work within the hospitality industry, Kylie said it was vital that measures were put in place to safeguard the future of hotels, restaurants and pubs.
“The hospitality sector is the largest indigenous employer in the country and it has been very severely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Naturally enough our International tourism market has come to a complete full stop but our domestic market is very heavily impacted particularly in light of county to county restrictions. Cork is very dependent on the corporate market — and this corporate market feeds into hotel bedrooms, restaurants, bars, conference facilities, transport connectors and so much more.
“We are very much accepting that health is of paramount consideration and these measures that are in place are needed at the moment, however, in order to try and protect and safeguard the industry, the budget needs to include financial assistance.”
Discussing the types of measures the industry needs, Kylie said: “We need to see proactive measures in order to protect the industry so far as is reasonably practicable. There are financial measures urgently needed such as reducing the VAT rate but right now, whilst the industry is not fully operational.
“I would like to see more financial assistance, such as bringing back the original wage subsidy scheme and re-instating the original pandemic unemployment to €350 for those who are still out of work.
“I have worked in the hospitality industry for my whole life and it is truly heartbreaking to see how the industry has been hit but we are a resilient group of people and we will come out the other side, but we need to see Government assistance in the Budget next week.”