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Mon 21 Nov 2011 - Restaurants Association of Ireland advocates Pro Jobs / Pro Business Budget.

  • Proposed FAT tax will cost jobs.
  • Identify 2012 as the Year of Hospitality “Bring back the smile”
  • Deal with Local Authorities once and for all.
  • Creation of 1000 Workplace Apprenticeships.
  • Compulsory Customer Service Training for all Public / Private Transport Drivers including Taxi and Bus Drivers.

 

'Restaurants Association of Ireland launch ‘A 10 point plan “Putting the Restaurant & Tourism Sectors at the centre of Economic Recovery”

The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) today Monday 21st November launched its 10 point plan “Putting the Restaurant & Tourism Sectors at the centre of Economic Recovery”
Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland delivering the 10 point survival plan outlined a series of urgent actions needed now if the restaurant sector is to continue to recover.
“This Budget shouldn’t be about adding more taxes and stealth charges to small business and restaurants so we keep the Troika happy. Budget 2012 should be about jobs, jobs and jobs.
Creating a FAT tax will cost jobs. Making Employers pay four weeks sick leave will cost jobs. And increasing excise duty will drive consumers to the North of Ireland costing jobs in the Border counties.”
The Irish Restaurant industry employs 64,000 people (1 in 4 tourism jobs) and contributes €2 billion to the Irish economy each year.
Irish restaurateurs pay the highest catering wage rate in Europe 
Ireland has the highest excise duty on wines in Europe 
Irish food cost inputs are 24% above the European average.
(source ‘Cost Of Food Preparation Report’, commissioned by Fáilte Ireland) 

The Restaurants Association of Ireland's 10 Point Plan:

 

  1. Identify 2012 as the Year of Hospitality "Bring back the smile"
    The Restaurants Association of Ireland is proposing that tourism and hospitality studies will be part of the second level curriculum.
    All Tourism & Hospitality of Services should engage in the customer training programmes throughout 2012. This training will be offset against employers PRSI
    All public and private transport services including taxi drivers , bus drivers and operators must undergo customer service training and on renewal of licences and certificate of customer service must be presented
  2. Restore Consumer Confidence - Deliver a Clear Message
    The Restaurants Association of Ireland is advocating a stimulus package to kick start the economy be introduced.
    A clear message to households regarding the fiscal adjustment over the next 4 years
    Make job creation and enterprise sustainability as its primary focus.
  3. Tackling Obesity in Ireland. Establishment of Food and Health Eating in the Primary/Secondary School Syllabi's.
    The Restaurants Association of Ireland is proposing that food and healthy eating is part of the curriculum in primary and secondary school syllabi this will introduce the concept of healthy eating. 
    The Restaurants Association of Ireland believes that any introduction of a fat tax proposal will have a negative impact on low income families and the correct approach to tackle obesity in Ireland is through educational awareness. A blanket fat tax will not create a healthier society and the Restaurants Association of Ireland is advocating for a holistic approach where businesses, public and private sectors, community and voluntary would play a part in tackling this issue.
  4. Reduction of Commercial Rates / Charges and Regulatory Burden. 
    Commercial Charges
    The Restaurants Association of Ireland wants the Government to recognise that the present rates system is unfair and is a direct cause of business closures and job losses.
    The Restaurants Association of Ireland is seeking an amendment to the Valuation Act 2001 that will permit an employer to lodge an appeal due to a change in economic circumstances and inability to pay
    It wants the Government to undertake a comprehensive review of the present rates system with the aim of funding local government on a more equitable and sustainable basis. This is likely to involve the setting up of a representative review group to examine the rates system in detail, consult with all interested parties, and recommend the best alternative
    The Local Government Efficiency Review Group has identified savings of €511 million to be achieved however, even if half of the €511 million in savings suggested by the Review Group were passed back to business, the total commercial rates bill could fall by almost 19%.
    Regulatory Burden
    Ireland is the most expensive country in Europe to run a Restaurant.
    Reducing the cost of Government imposed red-tape on business, in part by streamlining regulatory enforcement activities out of a merger and rationalisation of existing structures and agencies. 
    Creating a Business Inspection and Licensing Authority that absorbs the existing business inspection activities of the Health and Safety Authority, and the National Consumer Agency.
    Creating a single food safety monitoring agency, building on the existing Food Safety Authority, responsible for food safety inspection from farm to fork.
    Waste license fee has increased from €1200 to €4000. Introduction of Grease Trap Monitoring Fee €870 per annum. Sunshine Tax on Outdoor Seating / Music Performance Tax / Business Improvement District Levy should be scrapped.
  5. Establishment of EventsIreland and Streamlining Tourism Agencies
    Tourism is the 2nd largest indigenous contributor to the Irish economy
    The Restaurants Association of Ireland is advocating for the establishment EventsIreland with the responsibility for promoting Ireland as a destination for events, festivals, large scale sporting competitions and music concerts. The establishment of this marketing body should incorporate the promotion of 2013 ‘The Gathering' announced at the Global Economic Forum.
    Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland continue to reinforce brand Ireland and the maintenance of the existing Marketing Fund.
    Merger of Tourism Agencies. The Restaurants Association of Ireland believes that the Dublin Regional Tourism Authority and Shannon Development (tourism unit) should be merged with Failte Ireland. Dublin should still have a "City destination" identity & marketing team.
    Creation of "Tourism House". A ‘one-stop-shop' for all tourism development and marketing services to industry.
    Creation of designated county tourism officers.
    Creation of 26 Culinary Centres of Excellence (one per county). Retention of the current level of activity funded by the Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland international marketing budget
    The Restaurants Association of Ireland is calling for the establishment of a ‘One-Stop-Shop' Restaurant Enterprise Support Programme to coordinate and deliver all supports for restaurant enterprises through Failte Ireland.
  6. Investment in training and job creation.
    The Restaurants Association of Ireland is calling for investment in training to be offset against employer's PRSI. 
    The Association is also proposing 1000 work place apprenticeships for the Restaurant Sector. Participants in the Restaurant Apprenticeship Scheme should be allowed access training allowances equal to those given to FAS apprentices.
    Reduction of employers PRSI for those companies who have maintained their employee numbers at P35 filing time
    This will result in a highly skilled workforce and maintaining high standards in the sector.
  7. Introduction of composite VAT rates on Dining out and retention of 9% rate on Restaurant Services.
    Where the food element of a "meal" is over- two-thirds of the value of a meal, a Vat rate of 9% be applied to the total bill. Much of the Food element of a meal is locally sourced with 100% of the Income there from being retained in Ireland. This will provide extra value to the consumer.
    Encourage the practice of dining out and a café culture.
    Reverse the trend of people buying discounted alcohol products from off-licence locations and increased home consumption of alcohol
  8. Reintroduction of recoverability of VAT on Corporate Dining.
    U.K. companies can reclaim 100% of vat incurred on corporate dining, Ireland should follow suit.
    Any percentage of recoverability of VAT would create a stimulus to the sector, with little loss in tax revenues.
  9. Introduction of capital allowances for investment in the restaurant sector.
    Businesses operating in Ireland can qualify for Capital Allowances on the fit out of their industrial buildings.
    Restaurants are not granted the same access, at present.
    Capital expenditure incurred by Restaurants has increased significantly due to, among other things, increased health and hygiene regulations, fire standards and water regulations.
    Only establishments having a Special Restaurant Licence would qualify for such allowances.
  10. Reduction in Excise Duty.
    Reduction of excise duty on wine served as part of a meal
    This reduction will impact on excessive home drinking as well as encouraging sensible drinking
    The Restaurants Association of Ireland is calling on the Minister for Finance to reduce the excise on wine served as part of a meal. The Association believes that any increase in excise duty should be levied towards below cost selling of alcohol and feel this reduction will impact on excessive unregulated home drinking as well as encouraging sensible drinking in regulated environment.

Restaurateurs have adapted to the downturn, by reducing costs and menu prices. A series of urgent actions are now needed as the current business environment is unsustainable. Founded in 1970, the Restaurants Association of Ireland is the professional body of the Irish Restaurant Industry. The primary functions of the Association are to promote and defend the interests of its members. The association has established itself as the representative voice of the Restaurant and catering sector.

Source: RAI

 

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