AHP speaks of "critical moment" with increasing number of overdue wages
The Portuguese Hospitality Association insisted today that the sector is experiencing "a dramatic moment", with more and more wages in arrears, insisting that it is urgent to exempt the sector from Social Security contributions (TSU) and create credit lines.
"There are already several hotels that have overdue wages because they have no money to pay TSU", the Single Social Fee (TSU) discounted monthly for Social Security, said the executive vice president of the Portuguese Hotel Association (AHP), Cristina Siza Vieira, speaking to Lusa.
As there is an obligation to keep taxes up to date, in order to receive support, namely for workers' lay-off salaries, Cristina Siza Vieira reports that more and more companies are losing financial capacity to pay TSU and recalls that, if this fee is not paid, Social Security does not pay wages and, in the following month, withdraws support.
AHP says that the situation is dramatic and recalls that the TSU problem only arose when the hotel industry was not closed by government decree, like other sectors, and that motivated the presentation of an 'SOS' plan to the executive. Hospitality ', with financial and tax support such as the TSU exemption for one year, for workers in lay-offs of companies with a 75% turnover loss, and the deduction of VAT on tourism and leisure expenses in 2021 / 22, the IRS paid in the following years.
"There is a greater awareness [do Governo] to the TSU question, as being an unbearable cost for companies ", admitted Cristina Siza Vieira to Lusa, despite not having" yet received an answer "from the executive regarding the plan presented and warning that, when the economic recovery comes, after the end of the a problem created by the covid-19 pandemic, "tourism will not be here" if it is not now supported with measures such as those suggested by the association.
Last year, 96% of AHP members adhered to the simplified 'lay off', 75% to the support for progressive resumption and 31% to the support line for covid-19, according to a survey by the association to associated and adherent tourism enterprises.
Another survey by the association on balance sheet 2020 and outlook, carried out between 04 and 28 February and released this month, concludes that only 23% of respondents have reservations registered for July, 24% for August and 25% for September.
As for prospects, Cristina Siza Vieira points out that the survey revealed that more than 30% of hotels do not know whether it will open this year and 40% of respondents expect to only be able to return to the levels of 2019 within two years, starting in 2023.
"Three years are lost for the hospitality industry […] and there are many doubts on the horizon ", affirmed the representative of AHP, also reminding that, without air transport, there is no resumption of tourism in Portugal, and regretting that the country continues with the planes on land, a measure to combat the pandemic.