Closing down bars and restaurants puts jobs at risk, employers' group warn

NEWS 25.11.2020 14:12
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Closing hospitality facilities endangers the survival of the economy and jobs, the Croatian Employers' Association (HUP) said on Wednesday, announcing they will today send to the government new proposals for compensatory measures which would reduce part of the financial damage.

HUP said that bar and restaurant owners were already seriously threatened by the crisis and the sector was one of those that the pandemic had affected the most.

HUP recalled that it had warned several times that there should not be a new lockdown because its consequences would deepen the scale of the existing crisis, and it had recommended that some other methods for curbing the pandemic be used instead of closing bars and restaurants.

HUP calls for the continuation of existing measures and for a write-off of taxes and contributions until at least 1 May 2021.

It also called for a reduced VAT rate and a moratorium on all fixed costs at the local and county levels.

According to employers, an example of good practice can be found in Bjelovar and Rijeka, cities which exempted their bar and restaurant owners from paying rent.

A similar measure, they said, should be introduced for utility fees and other local costs.

“All of us need to be aware that closing facilities endangers not only the survival of the economy but also numerous jobs, and in addition to an economic collapse, we are at risk of a wider social collapse,” HUP director general Damir Zoric said.