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Paul Hackett: ‘Civil Servants like Lockdown.’

Paul Hackett: ‘Civil Servants like Lockdown.’

ITAA President Paul Hackett has hit out at civil servants “who have absolutely zero understanding of job creation” in a hard-hitting interview with the Sunday Independent.

In a piece by Niamh Horan, the ClickandGo.com boss said that many of the country’s decision-makers and civil servants haven’t been financially impacted by the pandemic and are enjoying perks like working from home.

Paul says there is now a split between businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic and public sector workers who “it suits down to the ground” for restrictions to “continue indefinitely”.

He said that those on state-funded salaries have less to lose financially than those in private business – he also said that ClickAndGo.com’s losses are nearly €2m, down 95 per cent on 2019.

We Aren’t in this Together

Paul also had a go at the notion that we’re all in this together.

“We are not,” he told the newspaper. “If I have to listen to Micheál Martin saying ‘I understand hospitality’, he does not.

“He doesn’t know what it’s like to have a landlord looking for their money, to have staff you are trying to retain, to have to protect your business and customers after you have built it through the years.”

He branded the attitude that foreign travel is a bucket-and-spade luxury as “beyond cruel,” as for so many Irish going abroad is about visiting friends and relatives they may not have been able to see for a long time.

He also acknowledged that people in the private sector are “devastated and worn out.”

“Our staff are at their wits’ end. I have never seen such levels of anxiety and depression. They are asking, are we ever getting out of this?”

It’s a question we all need answered.

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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