Meath Fine Gael TD and Ambassador for the Taste of Meath Festival Helen McEntee has said that Fine Gael’s decision in 2011 – to reduce the VAT rate on the food and tourism sector from 13.5% to 9% has helped to create 892 extra jobs in the hospitality sector in Co Meath.
This autumn, in the lead up to the Budget, Deputy McEntee has lobbied the Minister for Finance to ensure that the reduced VAT rate on restaurants and hospitality venues continues into 2016.
Deputy McEntee said:
“My family ran a restaurant in Nobber so I know first hand the challenges that restaurants and the hospitality sector face, in particular in rural areas. Restaurants and hospitality businesses rely on people having disposable income, and in the years since the collapse of the Irish economy there hasn’t been much spare cash around.
“After the Irish people elected Fine Gael to Government in 2011, my Party moved very quickly to reduce the rate of VAT on hospitality food and tourism from 13.5% to 9%. At the time, when the country’s books were not balanced, it was quite controversial for the Government to cut a tax rate. But I believe it was a good decision, and the breathing space it gave to restaurants and other businesses helped to create an additional 892 jobs in the hospitality sector in Co Meath since 2011.
“Hospitality businesses in Co Meath deserve huge credit for surviving the recession and for actually creating those 892 extra jobs in what have been tough years. 892 households in county Meath have extra income coming in the door every month and the positive impact on people’s lives cannot be calculated.
“The Government is due to announce next year’s Budget in the coming weeks. I have been lobbying several Government Ministers about a range of issues. I have delivered a strong message to the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan TD about the need for the reduced VAT rate for the hospitality sector to continue into next year. As the Irish economy recovers and a lot of people are returning to work, it is hugely important that the favourable VAT tax rate continues for the hospitality sector.
“Pressing for this favourable VAT rate to be continued is my duty as an Ambassador of the Taste of Meath Festival and as an elected representative of the Fine Gael Party, which prioritises local job creation and local business.”