TD says taxpayer ‘ripped off’ over cost of his stay

A TD has complained that the “taxpayer was ripped off” after he was forced to pay above the odds for B&B accommodation in Dublin this week.

Eugene Murphy told the Dáil that he had almost been forced to drive 150km home after hotels and B&Bs hiked up their rates on Wednesday night as a major conference was happening in the city.

He said the hospitality sector should not take advantage of the 9% Vat rate.

Mr Murphy said: “Last night was a rip-off night in Dublin city. I will quickly outline my situation, and it applies to more people. I found that my usual accommodation was booked out.

“I went to several other hotels and in every case the price had increased by €60 or €70. I was told that because a major conference was coming up the prices had increased. That is not good enough and it is no way to sell Ireland.

“I was heading for home, 150km away, when, fortunately, I got bed and breakfast accommodation on St Stephen’s Green. The taxpayer was ripped off because the taxpayer pays for our accommodation. That is not good enough,” he said.

The Roscommon-Galway TD added: “I want the 9% tax rate retained but I want the Minister and the Government to investigate that and I want a clear message sent to the hotel industry.”

Tánaiste Simon Coveney said the Government has made it clear that it expects the hospitality industry to pass on the reduced Vat to customers and said he would ask minister Brendan Griffin to talk to the Irish Hotels Federation about this. 

But Mr Coveney added that “for the record” he wanted to make it clear that this would not be done for the benefit of Oireachtas members but for everyone. “There is no special treatment for us in here, to be clear.”


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