Calling on the Minister not to increase the 9% VAT rate!
Today, I wrote to Minister Paschal Donohoe urging him not to increase the 9% VAT rate for the tourism sector.
I did so following the Ministers appearance before the Oireachtas Budgetary Oversight Committee on September 27th 2017 where he stated that an increase in the 9% VAT rate was under consideration for Budget 2017.
I strongly urged the Minister to maintain the current rate which is hugely beneficial for the creation of jobs and growth within the tourism sector, and in particular for the SMEs and small local businesses that operate within this area.
I have seen first hand how this reduced 9% VAT rate has helped create more tourism jobs in parts of rural Ireland. One argument used by those advocating for an increase in this rate is that hotels and restaurants are booming and will be able to tolerate an additional financial burden. This may be the case in Dublin and other big cities but from speaking to local restaurant and hotel businesses in Cork and over the South of Ireland, I can assure you that a large number of these facilities depend on this rate for their livelihood. An increase would be economically damaging for them, even a nominal one, with a knock on effect on jobs.
In the wake of the Brexit vote, extra attention needs be paid to our tourism industry to ensure that it remains competitive and continues to create local jobs and businesses all over Ireland.