Catering and accommodation want new measures – ZAP

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Patrícia de Melo Moreira / AFP

AHRESP sent the Government a plan to compensate tourist accommodation and the restoration of the effects of the pandemic with 10 measures such as the reinforcement of the Apoiar program, a new simplified lay-off and credit and tax moratoria.

Entitled “Face the pandemic, ensure survival”, the plan is presented by the Association of Hotels, Catering and Similar Services of Portugal (AHRESP) as a “last try to save the most affected sectors” by the pandemic crisis.

The plan, released today, provides for 10 measures, advocating right away the replacement of the recently launched program IVAutcher for the attribution of a “50% direct discount”, applied directly at the time of consumption and without limit on use.

This solution, argues AHRESP, would make it possible to overcome the fact that IVAucher does not have direct and universal access, “which could limit its scope”.

Following the Government’s recent decision to allow restaurants to serve meals beyond 3:30 pm in high and very high risk municipalities, as long as customers do/have a negative test for covid-19 or present a digital certificate, this association argues that tests and certificates be used to advance to a new level, in other words, to allow tourist accommodation, restaurants and the like to no longer have time or capacity restrictions and nightlife establishments to reopen.

Among the measures of the plan addressed to the Government there is also a new stage of candidacies for the support program, providing support between 5 thousand and 7500 euros for self-employed entrepreneurs (ENI) without employees, with billing losses between 15% and 50% or above 50%, respectively, or between 12,500 and 18,750 euros for ENI cm workers in charge, for the levels of breaks in turnover referred to.

This reinforcement of Apoiar, argues AHRESP, should also reach small and medium-sized companies with annual turnover of less than 50 million euros and, in an increased version, night entertainment companies.

AHRESP also includes among the compensation measures for companies in the sector that the credits that are currently in the shelter from moratoria can be amortized for up to 10 years, with the solution covering all financing, regardless of whether they were contracted with banks, Turismo de Portugal, IAPMEI or within the scope of Portugal 2020 investment projects.

The conversion into non-payment of an amount equivalent to 20% of the covid-19 credit lines that have been made available since March 2020, the temporary application of the reduced VAT rate to the food service and the launch of a new program of Simplified ‘lay-off’ are other measures claimed by AHRESP.

The plan also includes the creation of tax and contributory moratoriums – that is, the possibility for these companies to defer the payment of VAT, IRC and IRS withholdings made to workers until March 31, 2022, with the beginning of the payment of benefits to be started in 2023.

The list ends with two employment measures, with AHRESP defending mechanisms that support the hiring of human resources, campaigns to enhance the profession in these sectors and the development of an integrated training program.

In a statement, AHRESP underlines that the application of the measures it proposes “are essential for companies to survive until the resumption of economic activity begins”.