Hospitality Leaders Urge Government to Reinstate 9% VAT

A joint statement from the chief executives of the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC), Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI), Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI), Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) and Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) in advance of a ‘Supporting Irish Hospitality’ industry briefing being held today in Buswells Hotel, Dublin:

“On behalf of hospitality businesses the length and breadth of the country, we are calling on the Government to commit to reinstating the 9% rate of VAT on food-related services. It is essential that last September’s VAT increase be revisited in the upcoming Budget given the severe impact it is having on hospitality businesses, many of which are facing enormous financial pressures.

“These businesses are now at a cross-roads, struggling to deal with very tight margins and reduced profitability due to ever-increasing operating costs. To a large extent, this is being driven by the Government’s own economic policies including a series of employment-related cost increases coming into effect in close succession. The impact of these measures has been particularly acute for hospitality businesses given the labour-intensive nature of our industry

“Businesses throughout the sector are forecasting worrying cost increases over the next 12 months at levels significantly outpacing inflation within the broader economy. This is on the back of a period of unprecedented cost increases in recent years. Meanwhile, these businesses are struggling to deal with the effects of last September’s VAT increase coupled with the impact of significant pressures on consumer finances – all of which continue to reduce profitability and erode competitiveness. This poses an enormous concern given the implications for the long-term recovery of tourism and hospitality, our largest indigenous employer supporting some 270,000 livelihoods.

“While we have been repeatedly assured by the Government that it understands the extent of the challenges facing hospitality businesses, regrettably this has yet to translate into meaningful supports. It is now vital that the Government does everything possible to help put our sector and wider tourism industry on a more stable footing. At a minimum, this must include the reinstatement of the 9% VAT rate for food-related hospitality services.”

Issued on behalf of:

Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, CEO, Irish Tourism Industry Confederation

Adrian Cummins, CEO, Restaurants Association of Ireland

Pat Crotty, CEO, Vintners Federation of Ireland

Tim Fenn, CEO, Irish Hotels Federation

Donall O’Keeffe, CEO, Licensed Vintners Association

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