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I very much welcome this reduction in the VAT rate, which is critical to the entire hospitality sector at this time. Contrary to what some speakers have said, this is very important for those operators, particularly as they plan for 2021. Amidst so much uncertainty, that certainty in regard to the VAT rate is important and is appreciated by a huge number of people who have been in contact with me this evening to express their gratitude to the Government for this measure.
I remind the House that those of us who supported this measure back in 2011, when it was initially introduced as a short-term measure although it ended up being there for seven years, saw at first hand what a huge impact it had in terms of restarting and giving a great stimulus to Irish tourism at that time. At this time and in the time ahead, this measure is very important. I call on every Member of the House to support it and to see it exactly for what it is, which is a huge boost to Irish tourism and to all the operators who are struggling at the moment. It will not solve all of the problems, but it is certainly a key factor contributing to the recovery that will come for Irish tourism. It is one measure among many that have been put in place by the Government that will help operators the length and breadth of this country, urban and rural, to get back on their feet again and to make Irish tourism a success into the future.