Myles O’Brien of The Tavern, Murrisk, Tourism Officer with Mayo Vintners, has called for assurance that the VAT rate will be reduced to nine per cent when the Covid-19 crisis is over, giving the hospitality sector the assistance it needs to get back on its feet.
O'Brien stated: "The VAT rate was increased from nine per cent to 13.5 per cent in the 2018 budget and was a severe blow to hospitality businesses. The last few years have been very tough on the hospitality sector.
"I am calling on the Government to reduce the VAT rate to nine per cent, as it was previously. We need this support to ensure that we can get up and running again, once the crisis is over. Otherwise, it may be the death knell for many small businesses, particularly in peripheral areas.”
The Tavern Murrisk is in its twentieth year in business, run by husband and wife partnership Myles and Ruth O’Brien. They have built a thriving gastropub, winning many national and regional awards over the last few years and have every intention of opening their doors again just as soon as it is possible to do so.
"Being closed to the public is very strange – we’re usually open 364 days of the year. We also feel huge responsibility for our staff, many of whom have been with us for years. We just want to welcome customers through the door again as soon as we can" - O'Brien concluded.