A body which represents pub landlords in Northern Ireland is joining a call for the Treasury to cut the rate of Vat for tourism services in Northern Ireland.
Pubs of Ulster said cutting Vat for restaurants and other businesses serving food could potentially create around 3,000 jobs, as well as improving tourism.
Restaurants and bars pay the same 20% Vat as other businesses — but Pubs of Ulster said it wants the Treasury to consider a cut to bring the rate closer to the Republic’s 9% tourism Vat rate. Colin Neill, chief executive of Pubs of Ulster, said: “Pubs of Ulster has a wide membership base, consisting of bars, café bars, restaurants and hotels and we as their representative body are keen to support them in achieving greater prosperity.”
He said the organisation supported a move by the DUP MLA Simon Hamilton encouraging the Executive to call upon the Treasury to cut the Vat rate.
“A reduction will not only benefit our members’ businesses but also the Northern Ireland economy as it will result in significant job creation in the sector and will support the achievement of ambitious tourism targets.
“Additional revenue will allow those in the sector to enhance their products.”
Mr Neill said cutting the rate from 13.5% to 9% had been a success for restaurants and hotels in the Republic.
“Their reduced rate has succeeded in attracting more foreign visitors and increasing domestic tourism as well as creating 6,300 additional jobs — putting the Republic of Ireland in a strong position to grow its tourism industry further.”