Athlone Chamber backs 9 per cent VAT rate

The Restaurant Association of Ireland launched their ‘Keep VAT at 9%’ campaign in Sirocco’s Restaurant in Tullamore last week.

The campaign spearheaded by the Restaurants Association of Ireland is vital to the survival and indeed future development of the food, tourism, and hospitality sector in Ireland.

Restaurants are at the very heart of local communities in Ireland. Having VAT at 9 per cent has benefited so many in this sector and indeed beyond. Keeping this lower VAT rate is essential to the sustainability of so many businesses. The impact of this measure is only now becoming apparent - it is vital that it be left in place for longer for its true effect to be felt. It is for all these positive reasons your support is called upon. For further information on the campaign ‘Keep VAT at 9%’ please check out www.keepvat9.ie

During a survey carried out by Athlone Chamber of Commerce, Gemma Hynes of the Sheraton Hotel Athlone said “The 9 per cent VAT rate for restaurants/hotels is critical as it is a major contributor to businesses breaking even versus going out of business. Reducing value for money will cause a reduction in overseas visitor numbers, who are extremely sensitive to price and can easily choose to holiday with our competitors in Scotland, England, or Wales.”

Michael Cuddy & Co Chartered Accountants & Registered Auditors contributed by stating: “The VAT rate of 9 per cent has been extremely important for our clients; it has helped them to keep their heads above water, any further hikes would be detrimental to small businesses alike who are the backbone of the Irish economy.”

Recently established Corner House Bistro Restaurant proprietor Joe Connolly went on to say “Unfortunately the continued slowdown in spend has seen the industry slump back to a worse position now than when the lower rate was introduced. If the VAT rate were to increase in the next budget it would undeniably be a stretch too far for a huge number of businesses, already on the verge of closure but fighting hard to keep the flag flying. I think it would be the catalyst for numerous companies to say enough is enough.”

It is abundantly clear to Athlone Chamber that it is critical to this important sector that a 9 per cent VAT rate is maintained.

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