Hoteliers cash in on low Vat rate

THE hotel sector has very favourable Vat arrangements and has for generations been a low-pay industry. That suggests the sector expects to advance while having comparatively low tax bills as well as low staff costs.

This weekend, in Dublin, another of the industry’s expectations is writ large.

France play in Lansdowne Road today and their travelling fans, as well as the home supporters who want to overnight in Dublin, are seen as a captive audience with no option but to pay inflated, exploitative rates for a hotel room.

This shakedown is common practice and this weekend it translates into an increase of at least 23% on standard rates. Similar fleece-the-punter rates are imposed on All-Ireland weekends or on any weekend when a particularly popular concert is scheduled.

Maybe it’s time to intervene on behalf of consumers. If hoteliers want to continue to have an advantageous Vat rate then maybe they should register a room rate and if that rate is exceeded then a higher rate of Vat should apply.

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