50% VAT rise will result in restaurant closures and job losses in 2019: industry spokesperson
THE 50% VAT increase announced in the last budget will lead to the closure of restaurants and job losses in the sector in 2019, the chief executive of the Irish Restaurants Association (IRA) has said.
Adrian Cummins also denies claims by the Department of Finance the reduced VAT, which was introduced in an attempt to boost the industry, had resulted in a loss of €2.6 billion to the Exchequer.
“The Minister was wrong to change the VAT rate. Lots of businesses are going to have to decide if they are viable. The Government needs to sit down and review this,” Mr Cummins said on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme.
On the same programme, Ruth Mulkern of the award-winning Stef Hans Café in Thurles told of their decision to close the restaurant.
“It was a layered decision. We spoke with our accountant and looked at the figures. A 50 per cent jump in VAT just doesn’t make sense.”
The restaurant, which featured in numerous good food guides, had between seven and 10 employees, some full time and some part time.
It used produce from local suppliers who will also be hit financially as a result of the restaurant’s closure.
“Anyone who tries to do anything for themselves is punished,” Ms Mulkern said.