Local hoteliers express concerns

Roscommon hoteliers have expressed serious concerns about the stimulus package announced by the Government which does not go far enough to support Irish tourism and safeguard the livelihoods of the 270,000 employed by the industry – including the 1,100 jobs supported locally by tourism in Roscommon.

Michael Yates, Chair of the Roscommon, Sligo and Leitrim Branch of the Irish Hotels Federation states: “We are disappointed that the Government failed to deliver a reduction in tourism VAT. This is a missed opportunity given how highly effective the previous reduced VAT rate was in promoting increased employment. We now have a higher rate of VAT than 30 other European countries with which we compete. This is untenable from a competitiveness point of view and puts us at a serious disadvantage, particularly when consider our nearest neighbours Northern Ireland and Britain now have a tourism VAT rate of 5%. We will be engaging further with the Government on this critical issues as part of the October National Economic Plan.

“While measures to stimulate consumer demand are welcome, we have serious doubts about how effective the ‘Stay and Spend’ tax credit scheme will be in stimulating consumer demand. It seems overly cumbersome and convoluted, and we are urgently seeking further clarification from the Government on how the measure will operate”.

Mr Yates acknowledged the measures announced to address liquidity and investment as vital for the survival of many tourism businesses. “However, these do not go far enough to secure the long-term stability of the industry”.