The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) has released its pre-Budget submission, which is calling for the government to reinstate the 9% VAT rate for small and micro-businesses serving food around the country.
The association also wants a 7.5% reduction in alcohol excise, as part of a plan to align Ireland’s excise levels with those of other EU countries.
‘Need To Act’
“The government has discussed, not committed to, decoupling food-led businesses from accommodation and returning small and micro-businesses serving food around the country to a 9% VAT rate, but if it really understands how much we are struggling, it doesn’t need to talk, it needs to act,” said Paul Lenehan, president of the Restaurants Association of Ireland.
“The current strength of the public finances means there has never been a more opportune time for real government action to be taken to ensure a sustainable recovery and prosperous future for Ireland’s restaurant and hospitality sector.”
In towns affected by a shortage of available beds due to government contracts for housing refugees, the RAI suggests lowering local commercial rates for hospitality and tourism businesses.
The association believes that this move, if it were enacted, would help mitigate the impact on local businesses.
Furthermore, the RAI is urging the acceleration of the work of the Insurance Competition Office at the Department of Finance to bring about insurance reform, reducing the burden on businesses.
‘Change In Direction’
“The challenges that Ireland’s restaurants, cafes and gastropubs currently face are real and pressing,” said Lenehan.
“Without government action and a change in direction, many will lose the fight to keep their doors open.”