Retailers call for 3% reduction in VAT

Retailers are calling for a 3% reduction in VAT to offset the effects of Brexit, sterling devaluation and the huge move to online shopping.

Retail Excellence, which represents over ten thousand shops across the country, holds its pre-budget briefing today in Dublin.

The group says Brexit is already damaging Irish shopkeepers, citing successive trading reports by Grant Thornton which show that 15 out of 20 retail sectors are in decline.

Spokesperson Lorraine Higgins says the current 23% VAT rate was introduced as an emergency measure, and that it is time for it to be slashed.

"At the moment we're advised to compete with England... Then you factor into the equation sterling devaluation and increased competition in the UK," she said.

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