HU Makes Demands Clear To NI Economy Committee Amid COVID19 Crisis

HU Makes Demands Clear To NI Economy Committee Amid COVID19 Crisis

18 March 2020

The Chief Executive of Hospitality Ulster has told the NI Assembly Economy Committee this lunchtime that the hospitality sector is now spiralling out of control amid the impacts that COVID19 is having on the sector.

Colin Neill told members of the NI Assembly Economy Committee:

 

“We now have a disaster on our hands. This is an emergency situation.”

 

“Overnight thousands of jobs went to the wall and we are expecting thousands to go by the end of the day – this is real, and the government are watching this happen as time ticks away. We need to stop the clock on the domestic bills for our people - we need an emergency programme and package in place TODAY.”

 

“Our fear is that the sector will be truly decimated by the end of the week. We are talking about tens of thousands of people being made redundant. The impact that this will have on families as our people struggle to put food on the table and pay bills will be catastrophic.”  

 

The immediate demands outline by the head of the representative body includes:

 

  • A staff support package of £200 per week so that they can put food on the table
  • Domestic bills frozen for staff
  • 100% rates holiday for a year for our sector
  • £25,000 grant introduced straight away
  • Clarity that loan schemes will be available here, with an easy application process
  • All utility bills frozen for our industry
  • Government to call on landlords to freeze rent
  • Central platform to utilise staff that have been impacted in other businesses like care homes, food production and indeed the health service