Donegal Deputy Thomas Pringle, said he welcomed Christmas bonus-type Covid payments for some businesses but said Government was doing the bare minimum.
Deputy Pringle said: “As always, you are continuing to ignore the knock-on effect of the restrictions on others, because it would cost you money.”
The deputy said he welcomed that the Minister recognised the strain on businesses in making the payment for Covid Restrictions Support Scheme recipients, but added, “However as always, you are doing the bare minimum.”
Deputy Pringle said: “Products and services don’t just appear. They have to be manufactured, distributed, supplied. Yet your blinkered attitude with this scheme is to ignore those that don’t strictly meet the narrow criteria, even though you have closed off their market.”
The deputy said he had heard from a number of small family-run wholesale distributors who were shocked to be excluded from the CRSS.
Deputy Pringle said to the Minister: “You told them that the CRSS was never meant to be a general support measure for the entire economy as the country could not afford to do this, but the purpose of the CRSS is to provide additional support to the businesses who have had to close temporarily or significantly restrict access to their premises as a direct result of public health regulations.
“Do businesses who have been closed by regulation to help fight Covid-19 not have suppliers? Wholesalers? Most all of them do, Minister,” he said.
The Killybegs-based Deputy mentioned MCM, who employ 18 people in his home area of south-west Donegal, saying they were ineligible for CRSS despite 90 per cent of their customers being unable to trade.
Joe Kelly & Sons Ltd, based in the Finn Valley, is a family-run business in a similar situation, he said.
Deputy Pringle said: “These aren’t the big boys, they aren’t supplying the multiples to any scale. There are probably only a couple of dozen of them left across the whole country.
“Many are carrying significant debts on behalf of the retailers that are closed. While their market remains closed they are effectively closed, too. You will put them to the wall without providing support at this time of crisis.
“I know this affects other sectors, too. Business is not as small and contained as your reply to MCM makes out,” Deputy Pringle said.Tags: