Call to maintain 9% Vat rate on food

Call to maintain 9% Vat rate on food
File photo

There has been a joint call for the current 9% Vat rate on food to stay put.

The Licenced Vintners Association (LVA) and the Vintners' Federation of Ireland (VFI) are calling on the Government to maintain it ahead of the budget.

Both groups say any step to increase the Vat rate could impact on pub jobs across the country.

Pubs are now the second most popular eating-out destination in Ireland, behind only limited service outlets, such as fast food and food to go locations, according to research released by Bord Bia.

LVA Chief Executive Donal O'Keefe says it is vital it is kept the same so bars can keep food prices down.

"Pubs across Ireland have worked hard in recent years to improve their food offering," he said.

"There has been sizeable investment made by publicans to improve their facilities, broaden their menus and employ additional staff. As the Bord Bia research puts it; 'Pubs are frequented for more than just drinking'.

"Irish pubs are now regarded as providing good value food of the highest quality. However that value will be put under severe threat if the Government were to increase the Vat rate.

"It will have an immediate impact on pub food prices across the country. It could do lasting damage to our food service offering at a time when the sector is already under pressure due to Brexit.

"During this period we need consistency and we need to maintain our current food prices. Any move towards increasing the Vat rate would be regarded as harmful to the pub trade and should be avoided."

Digital Desk

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