Fianna Fáil Councillor Niall Kelleher has urged members of Kerry County Council at today’s meeting to support a motion to support the ongoing retention of VAT at 9% for the food, tourism and hospitality services.
Cllr. Niall Kelleher who is a member of the Kerry County Council in the Killarney Electoral Area is imploring his fellow council members to support a motion calling on the Minister for Finance to leave the VAT on tourist related services at 9%. This follows the recent publication of a report by the Restaurants Association of Ireland entitled “Food, Tourism & Jobs: Rebuilding Ireland’s Economy”, which revealed the over 31,000 jobs have been created as a result of the introduction of the reduced VAT rate.
“The report by the Restaurants Association of Ireland provides clear cut evidence of the success of the reduced VAT rate. In July 2011, the VAT on tourism related goods and services was reduced to 9% and since then 1010 direct and indirect jobs have been created in Kerry alone, with 31,584 jobs created nationally. I am calling on my fellow council members to support to a motion calling on the Minister to leave the VAT at 9% as it is clear it is playing a crucial role in rebuilding Ireland’s economy” according to Cllr. Niall Kelleher.
Discussing the savings made by the Exchequer as a result of the introduction of reduced VAT rate, Cllr. Niall Kelleher said that “Not only has the reduced VAT rate resulted in a significant increase in job creation for Kerry and the rest of the country, the national Exchequer has also benefitted. Based on just the 21,633 direct jobs created in the Food and Accommodation sector nationally, the Exchequer has saved an incredible €433m in social welfare savings, with the jobs created in Kerry contributing €13.84m. At the same time, the Exchequer has brought in an extra €103m in payroll tax receipts.”
Cllr. Kelleher continued “I am delighted to read in the Restaurants Association Ireland report that tourism has also received a significant boost since the introduction of the reduced VAT rate, with the overall number of visits to Ireland rising by 17.82% since July 2011. One of the most pleasing aspects of the Restaurants Association of Ireland’s report is the improvement in Ireland’s Value for Money (VFM) rating. The number of visitors rating Ireland ‘good’ or ‘very good’ VFM has increased from 28% to 40% from 2009 to 2012, with the number of visitors rating Ireland ‘very poor’ or ‘poor’ for VFM has fallen sharply from 40% in 2009 to 16% in 2012.”
“We must build on the 31,584 direct and indirect jobs created since the introduction of the reduced VAT rate. I believe that the Food, Tourism and Hospitality sectors can play a key role in rebuilding Ireland’s economy. Any increase in the 9% VAT rate for tourism related services has the potential to damage the stability and growth in the Food and Accommodation sector.” concluded the newly elected Cllr. Niall Kelleher.