Businesses are hitting out at SIPTU's suggestion that the reduced 9% VAT rate in the hospitality sector is not being passed on to customers, employees or the exchequer.
The trade union is calling on the Finance Minister Michael Noonan to reinstate the 13.5% VAT rate in next week's Budget unless employers agree to sign up to a new pay rates and conditions for workers in the hotel, restaurant and tourism sectors.
But television broadcaster and owner of Treyvaud’s restaurant in Killarney Paul Treyvaud has dismissed SIPTU's claims, describing them as "utter nonsense".
"The first sign of any recovery coming into the economy and the trade union movement wants to increase tax. This is coming from an organisation that in their entire existence has never created a single job but their own," he said.
"For them to turn around and say the cut in VAT has not benefited the worker, the economy or the Exchequer is quite possibly the most insulting thing that anybody could come out with."
In a separate statement, the Restaurants Association of Ireland has called SIPTU’s proposal to reverse the 9% VAT rate back to its previous 13.5% a "nonsensical statement that is completely anti-job creation considering the resounding success the lower rate of VAT has been".