Irish tourism industry organisatons have responded negatively to the 2020 Budget which includes provision for a €40m investment in the industry in the event of a 'no deal' Brexit
The funds would be shared by Tourism Ireland and Fáilte Ireland and would be used to develop new tourism markets and assist weaker regions in Ireland.
The Irish Hotels Federation criticized Government’s decision not to reverse the tourism VAT increase, which came into effect following last year’s budget. Michael Lennon, President of the IHF said the increase in VAT from 9% to 13.5% has seriously undermined Irish tourism’s international competitiveness and the ability of tourism enterprises such as hotels to re-invest in their business and local economy.
Mr Lennon said: “Budget 2020 is heralded as a Budget for Brexit. Despite the serious challenges facing tourism, Government has failed to recognise the importance of competitiveness and its role in the ever-increasing cost of doing business in Ireland. This is a missed opportunity to rebalance the tax take from tourism at a time when economic indicators provide significant warning of a change in outlook.”
During his budget speech, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said that the restoration of the 13.5% VAT rate meant that he would be able to avoid hiking other taxes. He expects €466m to be raised as a result of this measure.
Evelyn Jones, Government Affairs Director of the National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA), said: “Increases in excise duty were emergency measures, implemented in times of economic need. Ireland’s economy is now the fastest growing in Europe, and so like USC and other emergency measures, these must be rolled back.”
Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Associaiton of Ireland, called it 'A thoughtless budget'.
“This was an election budget paid for by the restaurant and tourism industry,” he continued.