Cllrs support reintroduction of 9 per cent VAT rate for food related businesses

A Fianna Fáil councillor has called on Meath County Council to support the reintroduction of the nine per cent VAT rate for food related businesses and that the council write to the relevant Minister calling on him to extend the 9% rate to the end of 2024.

Cllr Tom Behan, supported by Cllr Wayne Harding, who put the notice of motion to the council at its September meeting.

He said the hospitality industry was a major employer in the country and this was something that was often overlooked. The increase in the VAT rate had come as a huge blow to the sector which had incurred huge increases in the cost of running a business, added to the difficulty consumers were experiencing in the cost of living. “This is putting a huge pressure on our restaurants and cafes in their ability to trade. This was leading to many premises reducing their capacity and reducing staff.

Tourists coming into the country for a week spent on average €1,357. Of that, €1,000 went on accommodation and day-to-day spending. The increased VAT rate would make the country less enticing to tourists. His remarks were supported by Cllr Harding, Cllr Noel French, Cllr Alan Tobin, and Cllr Padraig Fitzsimons.