Clare Fine Gael Senator Tony Mulcahy said today the retention of the lower 9% VAT rate will be a boost to Clare tourism and will help the County to capitalise on the Gathering festival next year.
Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan confirmed this week that the measure was self-financing, and would be kept in place until at least the end of 2013.
According to Senator Mulcahy: “The lower VAT rate was originally introduced for tourism-related businesses by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, last year. The move was in recognition of the fact that the tourism sector has considerable growth potential, and I am glad to see the Government has extended the measure until at least the end of 2013.
“Tourism is such a vital source of jobs in Clare, especially at this time of year. The sector needs every help it can get, and the reduction in the VAT rate is having a positive impact on restaurants, hotels and other services across the County.
“There are already signs that the initiative has been working; employment nationally in food and accommodation providers is up by about 6,300 since last summer. By cutting the VAT rate businesses can offer lower prices to tourists and local consumers, making their services more attractive and competitive.
“Clare stands to benefit hugely from the Gathering festival, which will run throughout next year. It is very encouraging that the lower VAT rate will remain in place for the duration of the event, which is aiming to bring 325,000 extra visitors to Ireland next year.
“Armed with the knowledge that the VAT rate is staying in place, local businesses in Clare, as well as tour operators, will be able to plan ahead to make the most of the Gathering, and attract as many people as possible to these shores,” concluded Senator Mulcahy.
Note to Editor:
Senator Tony Mulcahy is available for interview on 086-2436345