Published: Tue, 15 October 2013
Sean Kelly MEP has welcomed the retention of the 9 per cent VAT rate for the tourism sector announced by the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan in the Budget today, following extensive lobbying by the Ireland South MEP on the issue.
Speaking at the European Parliament in Brussels, the Ireland South MEP said: “I know many local business owners in the hospitality sector who will be relieved to learn that the lower VAT rate is going to be retained. I want to thank Minister Noonan for taking my concerns for the tourism sector on board and for retaining the 9 per cent rate.
“I also welcome the decision to reduce the Air Travel Tax to zero with effect from the 1st of April 2014. It is hoped that this initiative will increase tourism figures in Ireland with added routes and increased air traffic volume.”
Mr Kelly had lobbied for the retention of the 9 per cent VAT rate, outlining his views to Minister Noonan, in particular, in recent weeks. As reported by local media in Ireland South, the MEP cited real concerns amongst the SMEs, hoteliers and those in the tourism business in his South constituency.
“The tourism sector has felt the benefit of the lower VAT rate which was designed to support and protect jobs in the sector, and to help tourism and leisure businesses to lower their cost base and attract more customers, so today’s announcement is a very welcome boost.”