Tuesday, 13th October 2015

• Widening of PRSI bands alleviates costs on employer due to increase of National Minimum Wage
• Budget 2016 gives much needed assurance of continued job creation and will give a further boost to the tourism and hospitality sector.
• Restaurateurs pleased with no increase in excise duty.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) are content about the Budget 2016 announcements. Restaurateurs welcome the retention of the 9% VAT rate. A widening of the PRSI weekly pay band has also been established, which alleviates the unbalanced cost attributed to the employer as a result of an increase in the National Minimum Wage. The RAI are also satisfied that there has been no increase in excise duty in Budget 2016.

Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of The RAI commented, “In our Pre Budget Submission, we set out objectives that we wanted met. Today, in Budget 2016 our 3 key issues have been addressed. We stressed that Budget 2016 needed to be pro job creation and pro economy and the Government have assured us that the VAT rate at 9% would be retained and a widening of PRSI pay bands to alleviate costs on employers.”

“The Retention of VAT at 9% into 2016 is crucial to not only the sustainability of restaurants and businesses in the tourism sector but also to job creation and the continued growth of our economy.”

The success of the lower rate of VAT is evident in the 32,558 new jobs that have been created since its introduction in 2011 and in the savings of €651 million to the Exchequer in the past four years.

“This is the correct decision by the Government, it keeps Irish tourism competitive, attracts overseas visitors and most importantly allows for the creation of a further 50,000 jobs in the tourism and hospitality sector in the upcoming years” says Adrian Cummins.

The RAI also called on the Government to reduce the current rate of excise duty. While there was no reduction, the RAI are relieved that there was no increase in excise duty in Budget 2016. Ireland pays the highest excise duty on wine in Europe. Excise has increased by 62% since 2012.

Restaurateurs also welcome the reduction in costs of accepting card payments as Interchange fees charged on retailers when they accept card transactions are to be halved, incentivising the retailer to encourage their customers to pay by card.

Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, said that the budget that was delivered today would bring a positive response from the industry.


Notes to the Editor:
The Irish restaurant industry employs 72,000 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 costs inputs are 18% above the European average.
(‘Cost of Food Preparation Report’, commissioned by Fáilte Ireland)

For further information contact:
Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive Officer
Restaurants Association of Ireland
Telephone: +353 1 6779901
Mobile: +353 86 8263311
Fax: +353 1 6718414

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