The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI), and Drinks Ireland has called for a temporary reduction in the hospitality VAT rate on alcohol until 31 December 2020.
In a joint statement, the group suggested that the VAT should also be to applied to alcohol sales in the on-trade (pubs and bars) until the end of the year.
'The three representative organisations urgently convened as a group last week to consider the magnitude of the impact that the current pandemic is having on Ireland’s drinks and hospitality industry,' it added.
"VAT relief on alcohol sold for on-trade consumption is an incentive for pubs, as businesses, to reopen," Padraig Cribben, chief executive, VFI said.
"VAT matters to businesses and this is about giving them a cash injection. Such a measure would generate immediate support, allowing businesses to trade through the reopening period and maintain jobs until trade picks up," he added.
Director of Drinks Ireland Patricia Callan noted that the drinks and hospitality industry represent a significant network of businesses throughout the country who require support, given the exceptional circumstances of COVID-19.
"It is critical that the Government provides targeted financial supports for hospitality businesses to assist them in reopening," Callan said.
"Our new Taoiseach has vowed to reboot the economy with ‘urgency and ambition’ – the drinks and hospitality industry is one which requires urgent support and ambitious policy. A reduction and extension of the hospitality VAT rate to on-trade alcohol sales would tangibly deliver for the industry," she added.
The group said that it is due to launch a campaign - ‘Protect our Pubs’ – next week to engage public support in seeking the new government to temporarily reduce the hospitality VAT rate; and extend it to apply to alcohol.
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