ACCORDING to Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey approximately 300 jobs will be created in the Clare hospitality industry over the next twelve months because of the Government’s decision to retain the 9 per cent VAT rate in last week’s budget. The Clarecastle based deputy said the Budget would reflect well on industry and job creation in the county;
“I firmly believe that job creation figures achieved in the past year will be exceeded in 2016. The effects of the reduced VAT rate will be enhanced by continuing growth in the Clare tourism sector and increased passenger numbers through Shannon airport,” he told The Clare People.
“The Restaurant Association of Ireland (RAI) has stated that close to 800 jobs have been created in Clare as a direct result of the 9 per cent VAT rate from 2011 to 2014.
“I expect this trend to accelerate over the coming 12 months as all the economic indicators are very strong around the tourist sector. This means in reality on the ground here in Clare we are on target to create one new job in tourism every day of 2016,” he added.
He also welcomed the announcement that the road tax on lorries has been reduced from a maximum €5,195 to €900 in the Budget;
“By doing this, we are bringing our rates here in line with the UK and with Northern Ireland – where hauliers pay just €900 to tax a lorry which would cost €4,200 here,” he said.
Clare hoteliers welcome the retention of the 9 per cent tourism VAT rate announced by Minister Noonan as part of Budget 2016. Elaina Fitzgerald-Kane, Chair of the Shannon Branch of the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) said the measure continues to act as a vital support for employment growth, building on the 33,000 new jobs created by tourism businesses since the measure was introduced in 2011.
“Today’s budget is very positive for local tourism businesses which now support over 7,400 jobs throughout Clare and contribute some €190m to the local economy each year,” she said.
The Budget wasn’t met with satisfaction in all quarters however, with the Mid-West Simon Community criticising the lack of rent certainly measures in Minister Noonan’s speech;
“We are deeply disappointed that there will not be an announcement of introduction of rent certainty measures today. These measures are essential in light of rapidly increasing market rents to offer tenants greater security of tenure,” Jackie Bonfield, General Manager of the Mid West Simon Community said.
Ms Bonfield continued to outline the disappointment in the area of rent supplement; “It is our understanding that there is to be no increase in Rent Supplement levels in the Budget. This is extremely disappointing– we have repeatedly called for this measure to prevent more men, women and children from becoming homelessness,” she said.
“We welcome the increase in the homeless budget and again appeal to TD’s and Ministers in the region to support the applications submitted by the Mid West Simon Community to the various government departments in order to continue and increase much needed services. There is now an opportunity for the Mid West Simon to receive funding, as a matter of urgency this needs to be done,” she added.

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