Retention of low VAT rate for hospitality sector welcomed in Limerick

hospitality-schools-main-img_900x300FINE Gael councillor for City West, Maria Byrne, has welcomed the Government’s decision to maintain the nine per cent VAT rate for services in the tourism and hospitality sector, saying this will continue to boost trade in this industry.

At the last meeting of Limerick City and County Council meeting, Cllr Byrne tabled a notice of motion calling for the support of councillors that a letter would be sent requesting the minister to consider this proposal.

“The VAT rate was previously 13.5 per cent and the Government took the decision to reduce it by a third, in a bid to kick-start the tourism and hospitality sector, which had suffered over the past number of years. This lower rate has proven to work, as we’ve see steady increases in the number of tourists visiting Ireland over the past couple of years,” enthused Cllr Byrne.

The Fine Gael councillor insists that this reduction has also had a significant impact on job creation in the hospitality industry. She also predicts that the decision to retain this lower VAT rate will benefit consumers, business owners and jobseekers in Limerick.

“The reduced lower rate of VAT is worth €2,250 for every €50,000 turnover within the tourism sector, and that is a significant boost in an industry which operates with tight margins. This enables hospitality focused businesses in Limerick to keep their prices low and, in doing so, attract more business which requires them to take on more staff,” she explained.

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“It’s very important that our businesses are supported. Many of our local businesses are to be commended for staying afloat during one of Ireland’s toughest economic times. Now is the time for them to begin to flourish again and maintaining this low VAT rate will ensure that our local pubs, restaurants and hotels are supported in securing their future, continuing to grow and creating further employment,” Cllr Byrne concluded.