RGDATA has urged Health Minister Stephen Donnelly to administer vaccines to essential retail and food logistics workers as part of the early frontline workers phase following confirmation that more retail/wholesale workers are out on Covid 19 sick pay than healthcare workers. RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley highlighted the challenges essential shops are facing to maintaining staff levels and trying to keep staff in pods to ensure adequate numbers are available to work and keep the store running. Buckley made the representations as the Government published details of numbers receiving Covid 19 Illness Benefit. 24,517 Retail/wholesale workers and 19,796 healthcare workers are on the illness payment. Click here to read the letter.
Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD, will hold a video conference call via webex with Grocery Retail and Distribution stakeholders and Retail Forum members on:
Do you have any current or emerging supply issues?
Have you increased sourcing on the domestic market?
Have there been any COVID related impacts on your business?
Importance of independent grocers in food supply chain: RGDATA submission to EU on “farm to fork policy”
RGDATA has joined renewed calls for the Government to immediately establish a Garda insurance fraud unit as the Alliance for Insurance Reform highlighted a struck out fraudulent motor accident injury case that shows the State is not taking insurance fraud seriously. “Insurance fraud is extremely serious and is having a significant impact on the cost of insurance for shops and for all other SMEs, hospitality, charity, sporting and community services. It is just not good enough to strike off a case against a man who was accused of fraud over a €60,000 road accident injury claim. We once again urge the Government to take this issue seriously and set up a dedicated Garda Insurance Fraud unit,” said RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley. Read the Alliance for Insurance Reform Press Release here.
The 5 Things Government must do to reduce insurance premiums: RGDATA & Alliance for Insurance Reform
Rebalancing the Duty of Care and dramatically reducing the payouts for minor injuries are just two of the five key things that Government must do in 2021 to reduce the cost of shop insurance premiums. The Alliance for Insurance reform Director and RGDATA member Eoin McCambridge reflects the views of shop owners when he said: “Nothing the Government has done so far has applied any downward pressure on insurance premiums and for charities, community and voluntary groups, sports and cultural organisations and SMEs, insurance has been unsustainably expensive now for over 5 years. If Government expects Ireland to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic through SMEs, or for Irish society as a whole to recover through voluntary and community groups, then insurance must and can be sorted in 2021.” You can read the full AIR press release here.
RGDATA’s submission on sick pay highlights the challenges faced by independent shops and urges the Government to make significant practical interventions to reduce the cost burden on shops and SMEs before it introduces mandatory schemes that will add significantly to employment costs. “Government needs to take practical actions to reduce unsustainably high costs that Irish businesses face – for example insurance – before it starts adding significantly to the cost burden on businesses that are already challenged by the devastating impact of Covid-19 on our local economies,” RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley stated. Click here to read RGDATA’s responses to the Government’s Sick Pay questionnaire.
RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley has been appointed to the new advisory group that will work on delivering the programme for Government commitments on introducing a Town Centres First policy and rolling out the Collaborative Town Centre Health Check programme nationally. The group will be chaired by Minister Burke and will have its first meeting via conference call on Friday 18 December. “I am delighted to be appointed to this role and will work hard to make sure that Town Centre Revitalisation is delivered throughout the country. RGDATA members are a vital component of vibrant towns, villages and communities and many are already very involved in regeneration projects. I will be working to ensure that Government delivers the right policies and supports to ensure that regeneration and revitalisation is delivered throughout the villages, towns and cities where independent shops are already a key component that are vital to ensuring a strong beating heart for a community to support and engage with.”
RGDATA Director General Tara Buckley said independent retailers will judge the Government’s success on insurance reform when they see a reduction in the unsustainable premiums that they are paying. You can read the RGDATA press release here.
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