Irish Budget 2013

06 December 2012

Following today’s Irish Budget, which revealed that VAT rate will remain at 9% for the hospitality industry, Colin Neill, chief executive of Pubs of Ulster said:

Today’s confirmation that the VAT rate for the hospitality sector in the Republic of Ireland will remain at 9% is yet another blow to the local industry here in Northern Ireland.  The news, whilst very encouraging for the southern market, means that the south can maintain the competitive advantage it currently holds over Northern Ireland. 


“The VAT announcement has once again highlighted the need to do more to support a sector that contributes one billion each year for the Northern Ireland economy and employs 8% of the local workforce.  We believe a reduction in VAT could mark a turning point in the fortune of the local industry. If Northern Ireland were to achieve a reduction similar to that in the Republic of Ireland, there could be approximately 3,300 jobs created in addition to the 35,000 individuals currently employed by the industry. It will also provide struggling businesses in the industry with the ability to retain their current workforce.


“The very fact that the Republic of Ireland has decided to continue with its VAT reduction, despite the on-going difficulties in the economy, is also encouraging as it suggests that the initiative is working and has been worthwhile.


“With this in mind, we are continuing to work closely with the Assembly and the Executive to put pressure on HM Treasury to take action on the issue across the UK.  As we embark on yet another big year for Northern Ireland with City of Culture 2013 and the World Police and Fire Games, we must remember that the Republic is also gearing up for a big year with The Gathering Ireland 2013.  We need to ensure that we are in a position to compete with the Republic of Ireland so that people aren’t opting to stay, eat and drink south of the border.”