9% VAT rate must be retained

Cork Senator Tim Lombard has stated that the 9% VAT Rate is essential for continued growth in the tourism and hospitably sectors across rural Ireland.

Senator Lombard said: “There is no doubt that some people believe Dublin is generally overpriced even though Fáilte Ireland argue it is a medium priced city destination by European standards.

“Many overseas visitors spend part of their stay in Dublin as it is viewed as a gateway to the rest of the country. This has created an imbalance between Dublin and the rest of the country.

“The success of Dublin hotels should not be allowed to dominate the discussion on the VAT rate which has proved so helpful to the hospitality sector. It was an exceptional boost to jobs growth, providing more taxation funding for the Exchequer.

“The 9% VAT rate continues to be a most important tool in enabling the sector, especially in rural areas, to maintain value for money for our visitors. We must not forget how vital it continues to be in sustaining the continued growth of our tourism sector.

“We have witnessed a slight decline in UK visitors due to the weakness of Sterling. Maintaining the 9% VAT rate will see us continue to be a competitively priced option for holidaymakers.

“Given all of the uncertainty around Brexit it would be imprudent to risk damaging the hospitality and tourism sector by making it less attractive for visitors. Many of our regional areas are still a long way from achieving sustainability and are totally reliant on seasonal business.

“This rate was introduced by the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar when he was the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport. It was an exceptional boost to jobs growth, providing more taxation funding for the Exchequer,” Senator Lombard said.

 

10 September 2018

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