|Posted on October 17, 2014 at 5:45 AM|
Fine Gael Senator and Government Chief Whip in the Seanad, Paul Coghlan has welcomed Budget 2015 which retains the 9% VAT rate for the hotels and tourist industry, and marks the abolition of the Pension Levy by the end of 2015.
“The 9% VAT rate has been hugely effective in boosting the tourist industry in Ireland. This has been particularly important in our own county of Kerry where we rely so heavily on tourism. However the reduction in the 9% VAT rate was only made possible due to the 0.6% pension levy.
“Thankfully we are now in a position to retain the 9% VAT rate while reducing the pension levy to 0.15% until the end of 2015 when it will be abolished altogether.
“The retention of the 9% VAT rate will be warmly welcomed by those in tourism related industries; hoteliers, restaurateurs and tourism service providers. This measure has increased trade and it has allowed for business expansion. It is estimated that the 9% VAT rate has resulted in the creation of 30,000 jobs since the tax was first introduced. This measure contributes to our recent success in growing overseas visitor numbers, which have increased by 9.4% in the first eight months of the year.
“The end of the Pension Levy is something I have been consistently making representations to the Minister on. The Irish people have made huge sacrifices to get the country to this point and those sacrifices are finally starting to bear fruit.
“The abolition of the Pension Levy will be very much welcomed by the hard working Irish people who contribute to this payment and who have been so important in driving the economic recovery.
“Today’s decision on the pension levy is part of a bigger four year tax reform plan, including the reduction of the top rate of income tax from 41% to 40% and to increase the standard rate tax band above which the top rate of tax is paid by €1,000 to €33,800. This will make a significant difference for working families and individuals.
“This Budget is about securing and solidifying the economic recovery but has also given the opportunity to allow more people to feel the effects of the recover. We are committed to ensuring that the progress we have made as a country is maintained and that the mistakes of the past will not be repeated, but we are working to make sure that everyone can feel the recovery in their daily lives.”