Responding to news that excise duty will not be increased in this year's budget, Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) chief executive Adrian Cummins has welcomed the news that the 9% VAT rate has been retained for the hospitality and tourism industry.
"In our pre-budget submission, we set out objectives that we wanted met," he said. "Today (Tuesday October 10), in Budget 2018, our key issues have been addressed. The retention of VAT at 9% into 2018 and beyond is crucial, not only to the sustainability of restaurants and businesses in the tourism sector but also to job creation and the continued growth of our economy."
The RAI also called on the government to reduce the current rate of excise duty in their pre-budget submission. While there was no reduction, the RAI are relieved that there was no increase in excise duty in Budget 2018.
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Ireland pays the highest excise duty on wine in Europe. Excise has increased by 62% since 2012, with the tax take on a standard bottle of wine now over 50%.
Cummins added: "Despite calling for a reduction of 15% in excise duty in our pre-budget submission, we are happy to see no increase in excise duty for a third year in a row. It should be noted that excise increases not only impact restaurants, hotels and pubs. These increases introduced during the financial crisis as an emergency measure have created significant cash-flow issues for distributors and importers, as many have to pay excise as an up-front cost."
He concluded: "The budget that was delivered today will bring a positive response from the restaurant and tourism industry."