The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) has praised the Government’s decision to retain the 9% VAT rate on tourism services in the Budget 2015 announcements. The Association however is discontented by aspects of Budget 2015 that will have a negative impact on the restaurant sector.
As outlined by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan in the Budget 2015 announcements, “this initiative is delivering”. The success of the lower rate of VAT is evident in the 34,052 new jobs that have been created since its introduction in 2011 and in the savings to the Exchequer of €699.72m in the past three years.
The decision not to reverse excise on alcohol, however, the RAI calls “a missed opportunity to create further jobs and increase overseas tourism visits to the country”.
Chef Training remains a priority for the restaurant industry and the RAI was disappointed to see that no training initiative was outlined in Budget 2015. In order to meet the demands of further tourism growth and job creation, the RAI is calling for investment in Chef training to fill job positions currently not filled by the correct skilled workers. In its pre-budget submission, the Restaurants Association of Ireland proposed 1,000 Apprenticeship places in the restaurant sector with participants allowed access to training allowances equal to those given to FÁS apprentices. The Restaurant Association calls on the Government to focus on training in 2015.