Hospitality Ulster Welcomes NI Affairs Committee VAT Inquiry

Colin Neill, CEO, Hospitality Ulster, delivered a Valentine’s Day Card to Number 11 Downing Street in February 2015 telling the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the hospitality sector in NI would love him to cut VAT 

Hospitality Ulster Welcomes NI Affairs Committee VAT Inquiry

09 November 2015

Colin Neill, Chief Executive, Hospitality Ulster said today:

“We welcome the positive move by the Northern Ireland Affairs Select Committee to set up an inquiry to look at the VAT rate on tourism and hospitality services here.”

“The UK’s VAT rate places Northern Ireland’s tourism and hospitality sector at a disadvantage as we share a land border with the Republic of Ireland which has a VAT rate of 9%. On a wider European scale, all but four member states have introduced reduced VAT rates for visitor accommodation and 13 members states have introduced a lower VAT rate for restaurants.”

“Hospitality Ulster has been at the forefront of coordinating this message from the sector, but we now need an additional effort from our elected representatives to make this happen. We were told Corporation Tax could not be devolved but with a concerted effort that was progressed, we need to take the same attitude towards the VAT issue and be relentless in that pursuit.” 

“The hospitality sector generates £1.1billion for the economy and employs 45,000 in food and drink service alone, so removing this barrier will have a significant impact. A lower rate of VAT would also provide the sector with greater confidence in securing jobs and creating more in the future.”   

“This is a solid first step in addressing the problem head on.”