Ahearn calls for return of 9% VAT rate for food led businesses

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Financial supports for food-led businesses in Tipperary would benefit the entire county.

That’s the view of local Senator Garret Ahearn who has raised the difficulties facing the sector with the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

While acknowledging the need to support the hospitality sector Minister Peter Burke said reducing the VAT rate for food led businesses to 9% would cost €545 million.

However Garret Ahearn said such a move would be a significant step in tackling the increasing number of cafes and restaurants closing their doors in Tipp.

“Every (food) business closing is costing us €1.36 million and if two are closing a day we’ll quickly get to the €500 million its costs to do this. We’ve done it for a number of years – we can do it again for a temporary stage again. This supports businesses in rural areas like my own, it supports employment, it has a knock on effect for the rural economy.

“It’s a stark figure that 74% of businesses are saying they would close if the 9% VAT rate isn’t returned. We don’t want to get to that point.”