HM Government of Gibraltar notes with disappointment the statement by the Caterers Association on the successful and widely welcomed BEAT measures announced by the Chief Minister in Parliament on 25th September 2020.
The Caterers Association are the beneficiaries of the following direct financial support;
- A 50% discount on their rates bills for the 4th Quarter of 2020
- A 50% reduction in rent where Government are the landlords and a 25% reduction in rent from private landlords
- A 100% reduction in tables and chairs licences for external areas for Government tenants and a 50% reduction for Private tenants – Until the 1st April 2021
- All rentals and licence fee increases are suspended until the 1st April 2021
- A payment to each business of in effect 20% of their averaged payroll (for April/May) for each of the months of October and November.
In addition, the Government has expressed support to a proposal from the Caterers Association similar to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme in the United Kingdom and we are awaiting detailed proposals.
Further, the Government has introduced the partly guaranteed loan scheme from Gibraltar participating Banks to support businesses during the pandemic. This scheme is available to all restaurateurs.
The Government has repeatedly informed the GCA at face-to-face meetings that it cannot expect the tax payer to provide any more financial support than is currently being provided. They are seeking greater cash payments from Government and greater discounts from Private Landlords at a time when the public is able to witness that despite the current restrictions both take away businesses and restaurants continue to attract good business to their establishments. The Think Local Buy Local has particularly been evident in this sector.
This sense of entitlement to more financial support from the tax payer in the current crisis when they are already in receipt of significant support is unfortunate, especially when so many businesses who are in receipt of little if any support continue to do their bit in supporting our economy.