CEO Welcomes Announcement That Treasury Will Hear Evidence Into Impact Of A Cut In Tourism VAT & APD

CEO Welcomes Announcement That Treasury Will Hear Evidence Into Impact Of A Cut In Tourism VAT & APD

13 March 2018

Hospitality Ulster Chief Executive Colin Neill welcomes today’s (March 13) announcement by Treasury that they are to hear evidence into the impact of a cut in tourism VAT and Air Passenger Duty for Northern Ireland.

Colin Neill said:

"This is a welcome announcement from the government that is to launch a call for evidence into the impact of a cut in both Air Passenger Duty (APD) and tourism VAT for Northern Ireland.

Hospitality Ulster has led on the campaign for a cut in both of these key taxes.

We currently have a 20 percent tourism VAT rate, which puts us at a distinct disadvantage to our nearest competitor and market, the Republic of Ireland, which has a 9 percent tourism VAT rate.

Despite that unfair disadvantage, which could be rectified in the morning, the Northern Ireland hospitality sector continued to grow in 2017. The industry currently contributes £1.1 billion to the NI economy annually and supports 60,000 jobs. Imagine how much more we could grow if the tourism VAT rate was cut to meet or beat the Republic’s rate.

Indeed independent research conducted in 2017 showed that if the VAT rate on accommodation and visitor attractions was cut to 5 percent, more than 2,000 jobs would be created in our hospitality sector, with a further 4,000 more created if VAT was cut on food.

It is therefore imperative that our VAT rate is cut and we continue to urge the government to make the right decision for Northern Ireland."

APD DUTY

"It is very clear that APD is a competitive disadvantage to Northern Ireland’s tourism sector, deterring visitors from coming and hindering the growth of a sector that benefits the whole economy.

Maintaining APD makes no sense, a fact recognised by the Republic of Ireland, which abolished its airport tax a number of years ago and which has reaped the benefits.

Abolishing APD would allow Northern Ireland to better compete for more flights and routes into Northern Ireland, helping the region grow visitor numbers and the attendant visitor spend.

Again we urge the government to make the right decision for Northern Ireland in order to help support our tourism sector and the wider economy.

The hospitality sector is working for Northern Ireland, it would work even better if these taxes were abolished."