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Publicans feel 'neglected' by government

Eighty six per cent of publicans are dissatisfied with government support, while 39 per cent have made reductions in staffing levels.

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Image: David Jones/PA Wire/Press Association Images

PUB OWNERS SAID they feel neglected by the current government, as they outlined the details of recent business closures and redundancies.

Over 350 publicans from all over Ireland are in Meath for the three-day 40th Annual Conference of the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI).

Dissatisfied

Recent research for the VFI showed that 86 per cent of publicans surveyed are dissatisfied with the level of support from government for Irish business.

Thirty nine per cent of publicans have made reductions in staffing levels in the first three months of 2013 “in a desperate effort to stay open”, it added.

Recent figures released by Revenue outlined that a further 150 pubs closed their doors last year and based on this independent survey and the trends outlined, the VFI believes that 2013 will see a further decline.

Some of the key findings of the independent survey show that in the first three months of 2013 only 8 per cent of publicans increased staffing levels, while 43 per cent have reduced staff working hours and 39 per cent have made reductions in staffing.

From January to March 2013, 62 per cent of VFI members say business has been slow and turnover down; only 9 per cent have recorded an increase in business/turnover. When compared with the first three months in 2012, 36 per cent say that business is down between 1-10 per cent, while 15 per cent have recorded an increase in turnover when compared with last year.

President of the VFI, Gerry Rafter said:

Unfortunately we find ourselves in a very similar situation to this time 12 months ago with further pub closures and job losses casting a long shadow over our AGM. The government made a lot of noise in their programme for government about helping Irish business but as yet we have seen very little action.

He said he believes it is “time that we started to shout about the positive contribution the Irish pub has made and continues to make to Irish society and in particular rural communities”.

Earlier today, the VFI said that if a ban on alcohol sponsorship is to be brought in, sports clubs could loss €3.5m per year.

Read: Sports clubs could lose €3.5m if pubs banned from sponsorship – VFI>

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