Tourism VAT rate provides vital jobs boost – Varadkar

More CSO evidence that 9% VAT rate is sustaining jobs

New CSO figures show the largest increase in employment in any sector over the year to June 2012 was in tourism-related jobs, providing further evidence that the Government’s 9% VAT cut has had a positive impact on job-creation, Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has said.
The latest Quarterly National Household Survey shows that employment levels in Accommodation & Food Service Activities increased by 5.9% in the 12 months following the introduction of the special lower VAT rate for tourism-related activities.
“This is further evidence that the tourism-related measures in the Government’s 2011 Jobs Initiative are contributing to job creation. Tourism was identified by this Government as a key priority for getting people back to work when we came into power, and I welcome the clear signs that this policy is proving effective,” Minister Varadkar said.
Some 6,300 more people were employed in accommodation and food services in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2011 (6,400 seasonally adjusted). Furthermore, 10,600 more people were employed in this sector since before the general election (10,500 seasonally adjusted).
January-March 2011: 102,900
April-June 2011: 107,200
April-June 2012: 113,500
“This comes against a difficult international backdrop for Irish tourism, which continues to be affected by economic uncertainty in our core markets like the UK, the USA and western Europe. Nevertheless, the number of visitors to Ireland grew in 2011 for the first time since 2007. This year we hope that visitor numbers can hold steady in the challenging global environment.
“Our tourism focus is now moving to 2013 when we will host the Gathering Ireland, a year-long festival of festivals. We want to make this the biggest tourism event ever held in Ireland, and ensure that jobs are created right across Ireland to the benefit of local economies everywhere.”