Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North Central Padraig O’Sullivan has welcomed the establishment of the Tourism Recovery Taskforce but says a strong government is needed to ensure that the supports needed by businesses can be signed into law.

Deputy O’Sullivan explained, “While the setting up of the Tourism Recovery Taskforce is a step in the right direction, we also need to ensure that the business measures announced as part of the €2 billion SME credit guarantee scheme can be rolled out. New legislation is needed to commence these supports, and that means a government must be formed.

“We will be working very hard to ensure that a national economic recovery package is put in place so that the tourism sector can get back on its feet. Customers at home and abroad will have to be convinced that, once the restrictions are lifted, Ireland is open for business, and Fianna Fáil will play its part in that process.

“The tourism sector provides so many jobs here in Cork, and particularly in smaller towns and villages it is the main source of income for so many families. The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on these communities has been devastating. Pubs, restaurants, cafes and hotels have all been hit and even with the government’s roadmap, the future is still so uncertain.

“I know some measures have been implemented already to ease the burden, but more are needed. The waiver on commercial rates may need to be extended and we will examine the possibility of a reduction in the VAT rate for the tourism and hospitality sector.

“The most urgent issue is that of forming a government, so that all of the supports which have been promised in the package from the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation can be rolled out. Fianna Fáil’s priority is to secure a Programme for Government which can deliver on these issues and a range of others which will rebuild the economy and bring about a fairer society”.