The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) has welcomed recent Budget 2016 announcements and hailed the proposals as good news for restaurateurs.
The RAI said that restaurant owners were content with the retention of the 9% VAT rate, as well as the widening of the PRSI weekly pay band, which alleviates the unbalanced cost attributed to the employer as a result of an increase in the National Minimum Wage.
The RAI said it was also satisfied that there has been no increase in excise duty in Budget 2016.
Adrian Cummins, chief executive of The RAI, said that the three key objectives it set out prior to the budget announcement have all been met.
“We stressed that Budget 2016 needed to be pro job creation and pro economy and the government have assured us that the VAT rate at 9% would be retained and a widening of PRSI pay bands to alleviate costs on employers.”
Cummins said the retention of VAT at 9% into 2016 is “crucial” to not only the sustainability of restaurants and businesses in the tourism sector but also to job creation and the continued economic growth.
He said the success of the lower rate of VAT is evident in the 32,558 new jobs that have been created since its introduction in 2011 and in the savings of €651m (£464m) to the Exchequer in the past four years.
“This is the correct decision by the Government, it keeps Irish tourism competitive, attracts overseas visitors and most importantly allows for the creation of a further 50,000 jobs in the tourism and hospitality sector in the upcoming years,” he commented.
The RAI also called on the Government to reduce the current rate of excise duty. While there was no reduction, the RAI are relieved that there was no increase in excise duty in Budget 2016.
Restaurateurs also welcome the reduction in costs of accepting card payments as Interchange fees charged on retailers when they accept card transactions are to be halved, incentivising the retailer to encourage their customers to pay by card.