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Kerry hoteliers welcome Budget 2021

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Hotels and guesthouses in Kerry have welcomed the range of measures and supports announced in Budget 2021 by Ministers Paschal Donohoe and Michael McGrath.

Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) Kerry branch chair, Bernadette Randles welcomed in particular the extension of employment supports to the end of 2021 and the rates waiver scheme along with the reduction in the tourism VAT rate, which she said would help aid the recovery of the industry. She said the new COVID Restriction Support Scheme, the Tourism Business Support Scheme and funds for tourism product development, are welcome recognition of the challenges being faced by businesses.

“The extension of employment supports until the end of December 2021 is very welcome," Ms Randles said.

Challenges facing tourism

"However, we are disappointed that the rates of the EWSS scheme were not increased. This does not recognise the challenges facing tourism and hospitality businesses in retaining key staff during the difficult winter/spring months and against the backdrop of additional restrictions. We also welcome the reduction in the tourism VAT to 9%, which is the right tourism VAT rate. It is an important measure that will stimulate demand and aid the recovery of the tourism and hospitality industry. After the last recession, tourism created the most jobs nationally - 90,000 new jobs - and there is no doubt that the 9% VAT rate contributed significantly to this increased employment. Pre-COVID, our industry supported almost 270,000 livelihoods, including 15,700 jobs, and generated €592m in revenues here in Kerry. This accounts for one in 10 jobs across the country, 70% of which were outside of Dublin. Reducing the Tourism VAT will help sustain jobs and communities across Ireland.

As well as providing a stimulus in the Irish economy, the reduction will improve competitiveness as an international tourism destination, she added.

However, she explained that it should be a permanent measure, at a minimum of five years.

"Contracts with tour operators for example, which can account for over 30% of many hotels’ business, are agreed two years in advance. Before today, VAT on Irish Hotels was the second highest in Europe and higher than 30 European countries. The UK – our nearest largest market and one of our biggest competitors - for example, currently has a VAT rate of 5% so today’s reduction is an important boost to our competitiveness."

 

Local authority rates

"We cautiously welcome the extension of the local authority rates waiver period to December 31 2020 and we look forward to engaging further with Government if, as expected, COVID restrictions are still in place at the end of the year. While every help is welcome, the time-period should coincide with business interruption due to COVID-19 and for a minimum of 12 months. After that, payment of local authority rates should be based on reduced levels of activity due to the crisis and until the industry has recovered. Businesses cannot be expected to pay rates on historical turnover figures that do not reflect the significantly lower levels of business that hoteliers are experiencing."

 

Compensation scheme

Ms Randles also welcomed the announcement that the Government is to introduce a compensation scheme for businesses forced to close due to Government restrictions.
“We welcome the recognition of the enormous hardship that these businesses face, including those in the tourism sector and we look forward to seeing the full details.”

Additionally, she welcomed the €55 million allocated for a Tourism Business Support Scheme as well as the €5 million for tourism product development, highlighting the strong success of products including the Wild Atlantic Way in increasing domestic and overseas visitor numbers in recent years.

While welcoming the range of measures and supports, Ms Randles said that additional liquidity measures are still required to help fund hotels during the coming months as a result of the cash flow lost out due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“We will continue to seek an extension of the moratorium on bank term loans from six months to 12 months. Government must continue to support us on finding the way forward on this as we feel it is a missed opportunity."

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Insurance for building contractors

What kind of insurance does a building contractor need? Commercial vehicles and machinery First and foremost, if a building contractor has commercial vehicles then road risk cover is a requirement by law. As with all other motor insurance products, the cover options would be comprehensive, third party fire and theft, or third party only. Commercial […]

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What kind of insurance does a building contractor need?

Commercial vehicles and machinery

First and foremost, if a building contractor has commercial vehicles then road risk cover is a requirement by law. As with all other motor insurance products, the cover options would be comprehensive, third party fire and theft, or third party only. Commercial fleet polices can cover many vehicles under one policy.
The value of the vehicle is important to review each year, as are the drivers.
Commercial vehicle policies usually give “open driving 25 to 70-years-old” but sometimes naming the drivers who will use the vehicle is a better option and can save you money.
You may need road risk and associated covers for driving plant and machinery such as teleporters, tractors and the like.

Employers, Public and Products Liability Insurance

Employers Liability Insurance covers your legal liability in the event that you are negligent and required to pay compensation for bodily injuries to an employee in the course of their employment. Employee numbers and annual wages will need to be disclosed accurately and annually.
Public Liability Insurance covers your legal liability in the event that you are negligent and required to pay compensation for bodily injuries or damage to third party property in the course of your business activities.
Your annual turnover will need to be disclosed and reviewed annually. Many main contractors and State bodies may require the tradesperson to have a minimum of €6.5 million limit of indemnity.
Products Liability Insurance covers your legal liability for injuries and property damage in connection with goods sold or supplied.

Other covers needed may include “Tools in Transit” cover which can be arranged in conjunction with your commercial vehicle policy and “Engineering Inspection Cover” may be required on plant and machinery. A “Contract Works Policy” protects the building works in progress against fire. Some insurers can include “Personal Accident” cover on a combined liability policy.

You should seek out the expert advice of a professional insurance broker to review your insurance needs. At Healy Insurances, we can review your business requirements, offer expert advice and save you money on your premiums.

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Yellow rainfall warning issued for Kerry

A status Yellow rainfall warning has been issued for the county from 12noon today (Monday) until the early hours of tomorrow morning. Thunderstorms and heavy showers will develop today over the western half of the country, moving eastwards this evening where they will continue tonight. Localised downpours will lead to spot flooding and hazardous driving […]

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A status Yellow rainfall warning has been issued for the county from 12noon today (Monday) until the early hours of tomorrow morning.

Thunderstorms and heavy showers will develop today over the western half of the country, moving eastwards this evening where they will continue tonight. Localised downpours will lead to spot flooding and hazardous driving conditions.

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