Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Ceisteanna (187, 190, 191, 196, 199, 200, 205, 211, 212, 213, 215, 218, 219, 224, 225, 226, 227, 229, 233, 235, 236, 238)

Patricia Ryan

Ceist:

187. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if he will extend the terms of the Covid restrictions support scheme to include businesses that do not have a fixed premises; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6809/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

190. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Finance his plans to extend the eligibility criteria for the Covid restrictions support scheme to cover service businesses which operate from home offices and not just those which operate from a commercial premises; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6415/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Cathal Crowe

Ceist:

191. Deputy Cathal Crowe asked the Minister for Finance if a wedding industry fund similar to the Scottish model will be rolled out here. [6492/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael Lowry

Ceist:

196. Deputy Michael Lowry asked the Minister for Finance the reason a company (details supplied) was refused supports from the Covid restrictions support scheme; if the decision not to allow such a business to apply for the scheme will be reconsidered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6535/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Imelda Munster

Ceist:

199. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Finance if he will amend the qualifying criteria for the Covid restrictions support scheme to ensure that all licensed and bonded travel agents and counsellors, including self-employed travel counsellors, will qualify for the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6578/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Ceist:

200. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Finance if he will amend the Covid restrictions support scheme to ensure that inshore fishers and others in the fishing industry can avail of this vital financial support. [6587/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Rose Conway-Walsh

Ceist:

205. Deputy Rose Conway-Walsh asked the Minister for Finance the reason for excluding boat tour operators from the Covid restrictions support scheme on the basis of not having a business premises; if his attention has been drawn to the negative impact the matter is having on the sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6638/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Malcolm Noonan

Ceist:

211. Deputy Malcolm Noonan asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the situation of 80 self-employed travel agents who have continued to provide services to clients but that generally fall outside current Covid-19-related financial support schemes and whose income has been significantly impacted by the pandemic (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6792/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Malcolm Noonan

Ceist:

212. Deputy Malcolm Noonan asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the situation of those in the wedding industry, many of whom fall outside current Covid-19-related financial support schemes, and all of whose income has been significantly impacted by the pandemic (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6798/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Patricia Ryan

Ceist:

213. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for Finance if he will extend the terms of the Covid restrictions support scheme to include bottling businesses and other businesses that operate under licence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6808/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Malcolm Noonan

Ceist:

215. Deputy Malcolm Noonan asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the situation of those supplying the events and trade show industry that fall outside Covid-19-related business support schemes (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6915/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gino Kenny

Ceist:

218. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the fact that many tourist bus operators are not qualifying for grants or supports through the Covid restrictions support scheme due to issues with Fáilte Ireland criteria, such as having a walk-in premises on a main street, and that this is resulting in smaller tourist bus operators being excluded from funding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6940/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Gino Kenny

Ceist:

219. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Finance if he will work with Fáilte Ireland to save smaller tourist bus operators and bus operators that are not members of a representative body (details supplied) to address issues with the funding criteria through the Covid restrictions support scheme, in view of the fact that there are hundreds of bus operators left out of funding. [6941/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

224. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Finance if he will address the matters raised in correspondence by a person (details supplied) in relation to their business difficulties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7071/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Matt Carthy

Ceist:

225. Deputy Matt Carthy asked the Minister for Finance his plans to expand the Covid restrictions support scheme funding to allow coach tour operators to avail of much needed financial supports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7077/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Francis Noel Duffy

Ceist:

226. Deputy Francis Noel Duffy asked the Minister for Finance if he will review and expand the eligibility criteria for the Covid restriction support scheme to businesses that do not operate from fixed premises (details supplied), but have faced enormous revenue loss due to restrictions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7090/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

227. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Finance the reason the Covid restrictions support scheme is not available to a business (details supplied) in County Kerry whose income has been decimated; if the application will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7105/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Christopher O'Sullivan

Ceist:

229. Deputy Christopher O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Finance if consideration will be given to targeting financial supports for the wedding industry (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7169/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Cian O'Callaghan

Ceist:

233. Deputy Cian O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Finance the reason some self-employed travel agents are being refused support under the Covid restrictions support scheme for not having a walk-in service, even though other travel businesses that do not operate walk-in services are availing of the scheme; if he will extend the scheme to include non-client facing travel agents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7343/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

235. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Finance his plans to include mobile home parks, many of which have fronting entrances and reception areas and common areas for showering and laundering that can be defined as fixed premises with a public interface in the Covid restriction support scheme. [7390/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

236. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance his plans to introduce schemes and funding for businesses affected by Covid-19, including an application to the EU to waive state aid rules; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7403/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Holly Cairns

Ceist:

238. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the outdoor activities sector is excluded from the Covid restrictions support scheme due to the fact that most of its business activity is not being delivered at a fixed business premises; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7456/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Finance)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 187, 190, 191, 196, 199, 200, 205, 211 to 213, inclusive, 215, 218, 219, 224 to 227, inclusive, 229, 233, 235, 236 and 238 together.

The CRSS is a targeted support for businesses significantly impacted by restrictions introduced by the Government under public health regulations to combat the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The support is available to companies, self-employed individuals and partnerships who carry on a trade or trading activities, the profits from which are chargeable to tax under Case I of Schedule D, from a business premises located in a region subject to restrictions introduced in line with the Living with Covid-19 Plan.

Details of CRSS are set out in Finance Act 2020 and detailed operational guidelines, which are based on the terms and conditions of the scheme as set out in the legislation, have been published on the Revenue website at:

https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/press-office/budget-information/2021/crss-guidelines.pdf

To qualify under the scheme a business must, under specific terms of the Covid restrictions, be required to either prohibit or significantly restrict, customers from accessing their business premises to acquire goods or services, with the result that the business either has to temporarily close or to operate at a significantly reduced level. For the purposes of CRSS, a qualifying “business premises” is a building or other similar fixed physical structure in which a business activity is ordinarily carried on.

A self-employed travel agent providing services from a home office, which is not customer-facing, will not meet the eligibility criteria.

Where a business does not ordinarily operate from a fixed business premises, such as a mobile homes site, events company, fishing industry, wedding business or outdoor activity business, that business will not meet the eligibility criteria for CRSS.

Similarly a coach, bus or minibus operator whose business is ordinarily operated from mobile vehicles, that business will not meet the eligibility criteria. A fund of €10 million (Coach Tourism Business Continuity Scheme) was put in place by the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media to support the coach tourism sector.

In addition, Deputies will be aware of the Tourism Business Continuity scheme, a €55m strategic funding scheme announced as part of Budget 2021 to support tourism businesses which was launched last week. I understand that boat tour companies and also caravan and camping and other outdoor accommodation providers that are registered with Fáilte Ireland are eligible for phase 1 of this scheme. Further details of the scheme are available on the Fáilte Ireland website at https://www.failteireland.ie/Identify-Available-Funding/Tourism-Business-Continuity-Scheme.aspx.

It is not sufficient that the trade of a business has been impacted because of a reduction in customer demand as a consequence of Covid-19. The scheme only applies where, as a direct result of the specific terms of the Government restrictions, the business is required to either prohibit or significantly restrict access to its business premises.

Where a business supplies goods or services to businesses in the hospitality industry which, under the specific terms of the Covid restrictions, are required to prohibit or significantly restrict customers from accessing their business premises (for example a bottling business supplying hotels and restaurants), it will not result in the supplier business being eligible to make a claim under CRSS. Each business must meet the qualification criteria in their own right.

I have no plans to change the eligibility criteria for the CRSS or to introduce sectoral supports. The CRSS is just one of the Government’s supports to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19. Businesses who are not eligible for CRSS may be entitled to alternative supports put in place by the Government, including the COVID Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) and the Tourism Business Continuity Scheme. Businesses may also be eligible under the Debt Warehousing Scheme to ‘park’ certain VAT and PAYE (Employer) liabilities, excess payments received under the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS), outstanding balances of self-assessed Income Tax for 2019 and Preliminary Tax for 2020.

I will continue to work with Ministerial colleagues to ensure that appropriate supports are in place to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy.

Question No. 188 answered with Question No. 186.