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Time to split the VAT rate and protect our small businesses – Byrne

2nd April 2024 - Senator Maria Byrne

A tailored hospitality VAT rate is necessary to support small businesses disproportionately affected by an avalanche of cost increases, Fine Gael Senator has said.

Senator Maria Byrne was speaking following a meeting she organised in Limerick, which offered Limerick city traders an opportunity to discuss pressing issues with Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney.

“What emerged from that event was the immense concerns surrounding small and medium businesses who are currently treated the same as large companies and chains in terms of VAT,” Senator Byrne said.

“I believe it is time Government reconsidered a lower VAT rate for smaller businesses like pubs and restaurants who are struggling to keep their doors open, while larger businesses who are more equipped to handle the costs would continue to pay the 13.5% VAT rate,” Senator Byrne outlined.

“I appreciate the hard work the Government has put in to significantly improving conditions for low-income earners. Improvements such as additional leave, pension contributions and further increases to the minimum wage have been important to supporting citizens all around the country.

“However, we must acknowledge that these measures disproportionately affect small and medium businesses who do not have the resources available to them to absorb additional costs like large chains and bigger corporations have.

“We cannot ignore the fact that right now, in Limerick and around Ireland there are cafes, restaurants, and other small business fighting for their survival. People who take personal and financial risks to enrich our communities and provide vital services are anxious about the future of their livelihoods.

“A tailored VAT rate could offer much needed support to the businesses that are the backbone of our communities.”

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