Pubs of Ulster Weclomes Hospitality VAT Reduction Call

11 February 2014

Pubs of Ulster has welcomed representations by MPs who spoke in Westminster today supporting a motion that called for a reduction on VAT rates for the hospitality and tourism sector.


The motion, which was tabled by Margaret Ritchie MP, called for recognition of the difficulties faced by local restaurants and pubs in the current economy. It noted that 13 EU Member States, including the Republic of Ireland, have introduced a reduced rate of VAT within their tourism and hospitality sectors for hotels, restaurants and pubs and that these measures have impacted positively on that sector.


The motion further called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to introduce similar sector-specific VAT reduction measures to help businesses in the UK in a bid to encourage growth, support job creation and generate investment for local businesses.


Chief Executive of Pubs of Ulster Colin Neill said:


“It is highly encouraging that this matter has been debated at Westminster today. Pubs of Ulster have long been at the front of a campaign to reduce VAT rates for pubs, restaurants and hotels who are struggling to make ends meet.


“It is extremely hard for businesses in Northern Ireland with a VAT rate of 20% to compete with pubs and restaurants in the Republic of Ireland who benefit from a VAT rate that has been reduced from 13.5% to 9%. The Republic of Ireland currently has a competitive advantage over Northern Ireland and has succeeded in attracting more foreign visitors and increasing domestic tourism as well as creating over 6,000 additional jobs in the process.


“We would call on the Chancellor to look at making the same sector specific reduction so that it can compete with the Republic on a level footing and claim a greater share of island wide tourism.”


Sammy Wilson MP said:


“I am glad to have been able to speak in support of this important motion today in Westminster. A reduction in VAT rates for our pubs, restaurants and hotels is something I have been in support of since my time as Finance Minister in Northern Ireland.


“I will continue to lobby for this reduction at Westminster so that businesses in Northern Ireland are given a fighting chance to stay afloat and compete with their counterparts in the Republic of Ireland.”