VAT increase ‘could lead to job losses’

A Donegal TD has warned that any increase in the VAT rate for the hospitality sector could lead to job losses in the region.

A document prepared for Finance Minister Pascal Donohue last week, called for the 9 percent rate to be scrapped in favour of a return to the 13.5 percent rate. The document suggested that the rise would yield an extra 500 million euro per year for the Government.

But Fianna Fail Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher says the recent drop of 7 percent in the number of UK tourists visiting Ireland, highlights the need for competitiveness.

A large number of towns and villages across the North West rely on tourism to sustain their local economies.

Deputy Gallagher said the current rate was ‘extremely helpful’ to these areas in their efforts to combat the effects of falling visitor numbers from across the Irish Sea due to Brexit.