A Cork hotelier says hotels won't have many ways to keep prices down if the government brings the industry VAT rate back up to 13.5 per cent.
That's according to the chairperson of the Irish Hotels Federation's Cork Branch, Joe Kennedy, who runs the Maldron Hotel in Shandon.
The Government brought down the VAT rate for the hospitality and tourism sectors from 13.5% to 9% as part of its response to Covid-19.
The rate is set to return to 13.5% on the 1st of March.
A recent report for the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation says 24,000 jobs could be lost this year if the VAT rate is increased for the hospitality sector.
Speaking to RedFM News, Joe Kennedy says current costs are already forcing prices up:
"We do want to supply value, as best as we can, to our domestic market. But the cost to do business in Ireland is forcing it to go the other way. You're reliant on that, you're reliant on the cost of doing business to come down more than going up at the moment. And that's across the board. The government have to see sense on that one. From a European side of it, our VAT rate currently at 9% sits quite well, so it puts us on a better, level playing field. On the European front, we're just sitting under France, Italy and UK. If it's back up to 13.5%, we would be sitting at the third highest VAT rate in Europe".