8pm Hospitality Restriction Should Go Now -Tóibín
8pm Hospitality Restriction Should Go Now. -Tóibín
Aontú leader and Meath West TD has called for the 8pm Hospitality Restriction to end now. He stated;
“The cost of restrictions are massive and they are not being considered properly by this government. Information that my office has received shows that in the first 4 months of the Covid restrictions the number of people contacting the Rape Crisis Network Ireland helpline increased by 15%, while appointments increased by 11%. Barnardos found in their research of high risk families that 44% were experiencing difficulties related to mental health, one in four (25%) were experiencing domestic violence in the home; 21% were experiencing issues related to addiction. Overall 30% of families researched were experiencing a combination of two or more of these issues. Around the same time, Parentline contacted the Minister to say that they were experiencing a large increase in the number of parents calling the helpline, with a massive 300 per cent increase in requests for access to their Non Violent Resistance programme”.
“There is a massive financial cost too. The state had a €7 billion deficit last year and may well have similar this year. €41 billion has already been spent by the state covering the cost of restrictions. This is money that won’t be spent on housing, healthcare, education etc in the future. Business are being hammered. The Minister for Finance admitted to me yesterday that there is now €3 billion in unpaid tax by business that has been warehoused. The state is paying €700 million on PUP and Employment Wage Subsidy every month. 40,000 people who were working in hospitality in 2019 wont be working in hospitality in 2022. Restrictions hurt, they cost in terms of lives, ill health, unemployment and billions of euro that won’t be spent on housing, health and education”.
“During this last 2 years there has been hardly any increasing in the hospital capacity of the state. 10 years ago the Government stated that there should be 550 ICU beds in the state. Today despite 2 years of Covid there is only 300 ICU beds. 90 people are in ICU beds with Covid yet 250 ICU beds are missing because of the lack of government expenditure. The lack of government expenditure is a bigger threat to ICU beds than Covid is right now”.
“20 years ago there was 22,000 hospital beds. Now there are 14,500. 20 years of governments decided to close down 7,500 hospital beds. Right now there are 910 people in hospital beds with Covid. Government actions have been far more damaging to bed capacity than Covid is currently. The government needs to stop leaning on the people to deal with Covid. It needs to increase hospital capacity. Capacity is needed anyways. There are 1 million people on hospital waiting lists right now. We need that capacity to deal with this horrific back log of sick citizens”.
“Omicron is thankfully not nearly as damaging as the Delta or Alpha variants. This was known before the recent wave however the government still went ahead with the restrictions. I can understand any government wanting to be cautious in the face of large case number wave but the evidence now clearly does not warrant the 8pm hospitality closing time. We have to live with Covid. It may well be around for years. We cannot ignore all the other life, death and health issues that families are dealing with for much longer”.