Tuesday, 13 October 2020
Financial Resolution No. 3: Value Added Tax
I spoke about this in my earlier contribution on the budget. I come from the constituency of Cork South-West, where tourism is of the utmost importance, providing 270,000 jobs. Seven or eight months ago, when Covid-19 first struck, I called for a reduction in VAT for the tourism sector to 0%. I got support from other politicians in Cork, some of whom argued it should be reduced to 5%. Now it is being reduced to 9% when every business is closed. These businesses were fighting for their very survival during the summer and this measure would have been of great help. It would have provided a cushion or support to them in trying to get through what was a shocking tourist season. I know of businesses from Kinsale all the way up to Crookhaven and Goleen that are in deep trouble. Jobs have been lost and doors are shut. While the €55 million boost for the tourism sector is to be welcomed and I will not be voting against this resolution, I am very frustrated. The rate should have been reduced to 5% months ago which could have saved a lot of businesses.