Tuesday, 13 October 2020
Financial Resolution No. 3: Value Added Tax
This particular measure to reduce the VAT rate on the hospitality sector to 9% was a measure that former Deputy Michael Noonan and I introduced to deal with the last economic crisis that we were facing but that was a different crisis. We were trying to encourage people into restaurants and so on but we now have a public health policy that prevents that. In that context, it is debatable how impactful this will be in the short term and it is quite an expensive mechanism, at €401 million. I agree that conditionality is required here. My colleague, Deputy Nash, reintroduced legislation underpinning sectoral employment orders to ensure decent standards for those working in this very vulnerable sector who are among the lowest-paid in the country. It should be a condition of receipt of this level of support that employers are required to engage with the trade union movement and that a standard minimum wage be agreed for the sector. I hope these issues will be taken into account when this particular benefit is given.