Working people and small businesses need urgent support
Statement by AKEL Political Bureau member Neoklis Sylikiotis
AKEL C.C. Press Office, 13 June 2020, Nicosia
The government should have had the second package to provide support to businesses and working people ready, which should have started being implemented immediately, without any omissions, delays or uncertainty. The fact that the first support package has expired, but the government has not yet reached any decisions on the second package, is of great concern to working people, the self-employed and small and medium-sized businesses. This unprecedented uncertainty undermines the efforts to kick start economic activity.
This uncertainty is growing as small businesses and self-employed people, especially in tourist regions, are in danger today of closing down, given that support provided by the government was insufficient, despite AKEL’s proposal for its substantial increase. AKEL once again addresses an appeal to the government to provide direct and more substantial support towards small businesses and self-employed people, as they constitute the very backbone of the Cyprus economy.
At the same time, we call on the Ministry of Labour to comprehend the dramatic situation that has been created for the 15,000 workers employed in hotels. The majority of hotel owners have violated the agreement for the temporary suspension of work, with the result that thousands of workers are considered unemployed and hence are not entitled to join the salary subsidy schemes. Thousands of hotel workers are in a dramatic situation, unable to meet their elementary needs. This is a situation that, if there is no government intervention, will continue to drive working people in the sector into despair.
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