Senator Maura Hopkins has called for the retention of the 9% VAT rate for the tourism and hospitality sector in Budget 2019.

Senator Hopkins stated, “The maintenance of the 9% VAT rate is essential in order to grow and develop the tourism market in this region following the launch of Irelands Hidden Heartlands, the new tourism brand for this region.”

Senator Hopkins continued, “This rate is very important for many tourism and hospitality business in rural areas. We must not let the debate around the boom in urban tourism dominate discussion on this issue. For example, in 2017 there were just 54,000 overseas visitors to Co. Roscommon. We need to ensure that all possible supports are in place to grow this sector further within the county.”

“The sector as a whole continues to face a serious threat surrounding the uncertainty which persists over Brexit and the weak sterling.”

Senator Hopkins concluded, “The 9% VAT rate has been essential to reviving the tourism sector in this county. However, with the need for support for further growth within the sector in this region and the continued threat of external factors, I have strongly emphasised to Minister for Finance and Public Expedniture and Reform, Paschal Donohue T.D. the need for the maintenance of the 9% VAT rate in Budget 2019.”