Dáil debates

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Priority Questions

VAT Rate Application

2:45 pm

Photo of Pat BreenPat Breen (Clare, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

Deputy Quinlivan, as a representative of Limerick, will be aware of the importance of tourism to the mid-west region. As a Deputy from County Clare, I know how many people visit King John's Castle alone.

The Deputy referred to the Irish Hotels Federation and the judicial review of May 2014 pertaining to the payment of workers outside Dublin and Cork. As I stated, the setting of VAT rates is a matter for the Minister for Finance. The purpose of the reduced VAT rate for the hospitality sector was to support employment creation. As I indicated, the number of jobs created in tourism since the introduction of the lower VAT rate far exceeded expectations. The partnership for Government includes an ambitious project to create 200,000 jobs by 2020, including 135,000 jobs outside Dublin. With 50,000 jobs created this year, we are on track to achieve our target of reducing the unemployment rate to 6%.

While I understand the Deputy's position on this issue, a balance must be struck between work and decent pay for workers. The Low Pay Commission is addressing the issue of the minimum wage and will publish its report in the third week of July.


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