The Social Democrats’ three Dublin TDs have called on the Government to outline what specific financial supports will be provided for businesses and employees when additional restrictions come into force in the capital tonight.

In a joint statement, Deputies Róisín Shortall, Gary Gannon and Cian O’Callaghan said:

“The rising rates of infection in Dublin are cause for serious concern and it is not surprising that NPHET have recommended that the capital should immediately move to Level 3 restrictions.

“However, the additional measures, including the expected closure of pubs serving food and restaurants, will come as a hammer blow to a sector already struggling to recover from the initial lockdown. Many of these businesses will not be able to withstand further disruption and will be lucky to survive.

“It is vital that we follow public health advice at all times while being mindful of the devastating impact that Covid-19 is having on jobs and businesses. To understand the reasoning behind the closure of pubs and restaurants, it is important that those affected are shown the data underpinning these decisions.

“Meaningful, targeted financial supports will be required to prevent businesses from permanent closure. In addition, emergency income support measures may be necessary to help the thousands of workers who will be laid-off this weekend.

“The level of State financial support provided to the three counties affected by recent localised lockdowns fell well short of what was required. Many businesses were already holed beneath the waterline from the original restrictions and did not have the resources to keep their doors open, despite the availability of enhanced restart grants.

“The Government needs to learn from feedback it received from businesses in Kildare, Offaly and Laois when devising a financial aid package for pubs and restaurants in Dublin.”

September 18, 2020

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