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Higgins, Lorraine

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Order of Business

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Senator Lorraine Higgins

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Senator Lorraine Higgins

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

I call on the Minister for Finance to come to the House to debate the urgent need to retain the 9% VAT rate for the hospitality industry before any budget discussions on it. The restaurant and hospitality sector, particularly hotels, were particularly badly hurt during the economic downturn. This VAT rate was a very welcome shot in the arm to the industry. By reverting to the 13% rate we risk the decimation of all that good work. We are looking at immediate job losses.
Some 9,000 jobs were created as a result of the 9% VAT rate and there is a real risk they will be lost as a result of reverting to 13%. We would all agree that this will cost more in social welfare payments for those who are let go. There is also a threat to the potential 5,000 jobs that are to be created in the next 12 months. It is a shame that the advances made in reducing the numbers on the live register will be reversed as a result of proposals to reverse the VAT rate reduction back up to 13%. This Government has always been strong on advocating that it wants to get this country back to work, but this would be a very regressive step. That is why I call on the Minister for Finance to come here to discuss this at the earliest possible convenience.