About the ‘Keep VAT at 9%’ campaign

keepvat9_notextThe successful ‘Keep VAT at 9%’ campaign, spearheaded by the Restaurants Association of Ireland, was integral to the retention of the 9% lower VAT rate in Budget 2014-2017.

In July 2011 the VAT rate for tourism related services and goods was temporarily reduced from 13.5% to 9% by Government as part of a measure to promote job creation. This incentive for job creation was due to expire at the end of 2013.

The growth and reputation of our economy depended on the 9% VAT rate. We were not looking for a quick fix or for the success of our recovery of the hospitality sector to end – abruptly – with “The Gathering”.  And so, in Budget 2014, we were delighted with the announcement from the Minister for Finance that the measure would be retained.

We welcomed the last four budgets as Pro-Jobs, Pro-Tourism and Pro-Ireland, primarily through the retention of VAT on hospitality and tourism services at 9%. While appreciative of the many difficult decisions the Government were faced with in framing Budget decisions over these years, we wholly recognised the importance of the tourism sector to the overall economy, principally in terms of job creation and economic competitiveness.

As Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan T.D. mentioned in his Budget 2014 speech, “it is important that we reinforce success when possible” – we wholeheartedly agree with this view and we believe that the hospitality sector will continue to grow and create jobs, because of the continuation of the VAT rate at 9%.

In December 2013, the 9% VAT rate was signed into law (Finance Act (no.2) 2013).