Clare Independent TD Michael McNamara has asked the Minister for Finance to include adventure and outdoor activity tourism providers and events companies under the COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS).
Speaking in Dáil Éireann today, Deputy McNamara said: “It is somewhat strange that this morning in the Dáil, the Taoiseach said that the economic impact of this was not brought about by the Government’s reaction but rather by Covid itself, yet here we are talking about a scheme where one actively must demonstrate that the Government’s regulations preclude the public from visiting one’s physical premises to get the money.
The Government’s response will be with us for a long time and will hamper livelihoods and lives in this country for a generation because a shrinking economy, which has been intentionally shrunk by the Government, affects our health service and it affects longevity and life expectancy in every state.”
“Like many, notwithstanding the Government closing premises and businesses, and that the latest tilting of the hat towards the zero-Covid approach will continue into the summer and affect businesses, in particular, tourism businesses across Clare, which had a disastrous year last year and will not remain open unless the Government is in a position to say that this scheme and supports will remain in place for tourism businesses throughout this year, I question whether it is in accordance with EU law to open our tourism sector domestically and not allow Irish people to go elsewhere or foreigners to come into the country,” he said.
Mr McNamara continued: “It will be very tricky. Even if the Government does that, there will be a huge deficit in many tourism businesses. They need certainty and they need it now as they are facing into preparations for the season. I hope the Government will be in a position to confirm that it will leave supports in place right across the tourism season as it will close it, and move away from the necessity for physical premises so that people who provide adventure tourism, for example, in water with horses, are able to keep their animals alive because that is where we are at this stage.”
In response, in Dáil Éireann today, the Minister Paschal Donohoe confirmed that his Department would review the matter.