Michael Healy Rae

The Kerryman (Tralee Edition) - - NEWS -

..... in his words

“BACK in 2011 the Govern­ment of the day showed great vi­sion in re­duc­ing the tourism VAT rate from 13.5 per cent to nine per cent.

“I am both dis­gusted and an­gry at the fact we have seen such a dra­matic in­crease in the tourism VAT rate to­day.

“It is a real slap in the face to one of the big­gest sec­tors of em­ploy­ers in our coun­try. The tourism sec­tor pro­vides over 235,000 jobs an­nu­ally and many of these jobs in re­gional and ru­ral ar­eas will be un­der se­ri­ous threat.

“The first busi­nesses that will re­ally feel the squeeze will be the ones in ru­ral Ire­land, the small op­er­a­tors who rely fully on the peak sum­mer sea­son, if the govern­ment had the gump­tion to at least raise the thresh­old from €37,500 to €50,000 it may re­sult in a lot of smaller op­er­a­tors be­ing saved.

“I have al­ways said, no mat­ter who it is or what party they are from, be it a Se­nior Min­is­ter or Ju­nior Min­is­ter, in Kerry, we are bet­ter off hav­ing one, than not, but, in this case it seems like our Min­is­ter has not made much of an ef­fort to save the 9% VAT rate, it just goes to show hav­ing a Min­is­ter for Tourism in Kerry clearly doesn’t mean a lot and I would call on Min­is­ter Grif­fin to at least look for the thresh­old to be in­creased to try and save some of the op­er­a­tors that will be un­der se­vere pres­sure now due to this in­crease.

“Cre­at­ing over 65,000 jobs since 2011 and pro­vid­ing over €2 bil­lion in taxes an­nu­ally it is clear to see that this in­dus­try more than con­trib­utes to the ex­che­quer. I see it as an un­nec­es­sary in­crease given the un­cer­tainty of Brexit.

“It is both short sighted and reck­less to now have Ire­land in the top five in Europe when it comes to VAT on ac­com­mo­da­tion and I am ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed that Min­is­ter Grif­fin al­lowed this to hap­pen on his watch.”

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