John Galligan has accused the Irish government of lying to Irish travel businesses, saying that travel agents can recognise when they’re being told “porkies”.
In response to claims by TDs that “there will be no cliff edge” and they will “support those sectors of business who have been worst affected,” Galligan says that agents can see right through the “silky-worded press releases”
Galligan says despite PR-friendly claims from ministers, the government is withdrawing CRSS (COVID-19 Restrictions Support Scheme) from travel agents, which has effectively pushed travel businesses off the cliff edge.
He points out that travel agents have been more badly affected than any SME sector in Ireland, enduring 16 months without income while paying overheads and retaining staff, though he acknowledges and appreciated the government wage supports.
With the return of international travel still uncertain, Galligan is unsure as to why the government has supported travel agents until now.
“Just because we can open our doors does not mean we can trade,” says Galligan.
“Travel agents have had negative turnover for well over a year and will have 6 more months to endure…There is a huge pent-up demand for travel, so the future looks good for 2022 but not before.”
Galligan has contacted all the TDs and senators with his message. “Ministers have been briefed often enough,” he says.
“They know all about this but are speaking out of both sides of their mouths. We won’t be fobbed off with the Business Restoration Scheme, either. That is 3 months away and probably will be minimal when it comes.”
His overriding message is a strong one.
“Government can issue all the silky-worded press releases they like. Travel agents know they are just “porkies”.”