Sinn Féin constantly calls for support for the hospitality sector yet voted against an EU proposal to expedite plans to safely reopen allowing businesses to claw back lost revenue, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Sinn Féin MEPs voted against accelerating the approval of the Digital Green Certificate in the European Parliament on Wednesday.
Deputy Jennifer Carroll MacNeill said: “It’s very disappointing to see that Sinn Féin MEPs voted against this proposal, which would allow the tourism and hospitality sectors to reopen sooner than might otherwise be the case.
“Sinn Féin has been calling for supports and the reopening of the hospitality sector all along. Back in September, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou MacDonald called for bars and pubs to remain open.
“Deputy Imelda Munster this week recognized that the “sector is crying out for support”, while Deputy Johnny Mythen acknowledged that restaurants in his area are in real trouble.
“Deputy Darren O’Rourke was looking for plans for the recovery of the aviation sector earlier this week, and Deputy Mythen has also previously raised increasing international travel.
“Sinn Féin needs to pick a side and stick to it. We know that Sinn Féin plays two sides of every coin, but the livelihoods of people across the country are at risk here.
“What businesses need is to reopen. As safely as possible, and as soon as possible. We need to plan now for reopening over the next few months, and the EU’s Digital Green Certificate is one component of a comprehensive plan to ensure the tourism, hospitality, retail and aviation sector get back on their feet.
“I was delighted to see that the vote was ultimately successful, with MEPs, including Fine Gael representatives, voting to accelerate the approval of the certificates. The decision to accelerate this process was made in recognition of the impact this will have on reopening society including hotels, restaurants, bars and other businesses that have been shut for the best part of a year.
“This week’s successful vote guarantees a timeframe that allows for the cert to come into force by June, just in time for the summer tourism season.
“The certificate is not a passport, and it’s not a magic bullet in protecting against Covid-19. But what it can allow us to do is to look to allow access to hospitality at an earlier stage.
“Any reopening would drive some revenue for hospitality and provide a bonus for them to be able to get out sooner than might otherwise be the case,” concluded Deputy Carroll MacNeill.