Restaurateurs urge Yes vote 'to create stability and confidence'


BUSINESS:RESTAURATEURS HAVE backed the call for a Yes vote in the fiscal treaty referendum.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland met Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar in Dublin yesterday to endorse the Government campaign.

The association’s president, Brian Fallon, said he was urging its 700 members to vote Yes because Ireland needed stability.

“The biggest obstacle to our business is lack of confidence so we are just trying to get a bit of certainty and a bit of confidence back and that will follow through in terms of footfall and customer spend,” he said. “Even a negative headline in a newspaper is enough to rattle the bookings for the weekend. Things are so sensitive.”

Mr Fallon said the average spend in restaurants was still substantially down and businesses outside Dublin were really struggling.

“A Yes vote could be the start of something, the start of some certainty.”

The association’s chief executive, Adrian Cummins, said it was important that the entire business community rowed in behind the Yes campaign “to create stability and confidence, which in turn will help growth in our country”. Confidence helped consumer spend and that was essential for restaurateurs, he said.

The fiscal treaty obliges member states to keep their budget deficits and public debts within tight limits and provides for the imposition of penalties if governments fail to adhere to its strictures. It also gives access to the European Stability Mechanism fund. Mr Cummins said access to the fund was “a vital insurance policy and is essential in restoring economic stability”.