Hospitality sector wants five-year VAT freeze

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There are calls for the Government to leave the current VAT rate unchanged for at least five years.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland says more than 45,000 jobs have been created in the hospitality sector since the 9% rate was introduced in 2011.

A new report by economist Jim Power released this morning shows 31,000 direct and 14,260 indirect jobs have come on stream as a result.

The report states:

“The total contribution to the Exchequer is €147.6m.

"The reduction in social welfare payments, assuming the extra employment took people off the live register, is estimated at €620m.”

Adrian Cummins, the association's chief executive, has said it is important that we don't see a hike in the rate any time soon:

"The east coast has benefited the most but every region has benefited in some shape or form, so the VAT rate does work. It creates job.

"One in every four jobs that was created in Ireland over the last four years was created in tourism and hospitality.

"So now is not the time to change the VAT rate. What we need to do is... have stability for the next five years. We need to have that VAT rate in place for another five years at least."

Craig Fitzpatrick, Newstalk.com 

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