Chamber cautions Government over VAT increases

Mullingar Chamber of Commerce logoMullingar Chamber of Commerce President Pat Whelan expressed dismay at reports that the Government intends to increase VAT to 23% in the upcoming budget.

“Now is not the time to increase VAT. Spending levels are still low and at this time of year when retail sales have potential to increase, the Government must commit to supporting the domestic economy. At a time when consumer confidence is weak, an increase in VAT will only strengthen the black market and push Irish consumers towards cross boarder shopping.”

“It would be all too easy to kill off any tentative signs of a recovery in consumer demand. We will be shooting ourselves in the foot if we jeopardise growing domestic consumer demand by raising VAT.”

“Retailers fully understand the need to balance the national books. However, by raising VAT we risk losing some of the recent gains we have made in competitiveness.”

“The Government would be better off implementing fully the Landlord and Tenant Bill to abolish upward-only rents which would help secure retail businesses and retail jobs,” concluded Pat Whelan.

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