Budget 2022: Mixed reaction from VFI and Restaurants Association

This week’s Budget 2022 announcement was met with a mixed reaction from the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) and the Restaurants Association with vintners welcoming the extension of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) while the decision to increase VAT met with criticism from across the hospitality sector.

Speaking after Budget 2022 was unveiled, VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben, said: “By maintaining the EWSS until next April and keeping the commercial rates waiver in place until the end of year the Government is giving publicans a chance to trade out of the most difficult 18 months imaginable.

“With these Budget measures, Government is effectively giving our members more time to rebuild their businesses”.

The decision to increase VAT on the hospitality sector from 9 per cent to 13.5 per cent from next September was described as “short-sighted”, however.

Mr. Cribbin added: “The decision to increase hospitality VAT next September is short-sighted given that tourism will be significantly impacted for years to come. The crisis in hospitality is such that the lower VAT rate needs to be in place until at least 2025”.

Meanwhile, Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland said the Budget was “a disaster” for the sector.

“This Budget is a disaster for our members, restaurants, cafes and gastropubs, a vital element of our Tourism offering. The VAT rate ending, and wage supports tapering off will be the death nail in the coffin of many hospitality businesses this winter,” he said.

“Although the supports offered in today’s Budget are welcomed, there are still some long hard months ahead.

“Since lockdown, measures and restrictions have been put in place, our industry has complied with the rules. Public safety and the safety of workers have always been at the top of our agenda. But this has meant serious financial difficulties for many.

“We needed the Government to help us fight for survival, today’s announcements fall short of that, and we will need ongoing support to trade out of this”.