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‘We want to increase the numbers travelling here, not reduce them

October 7th, 2018 7:10 AM

By Southern Star Team

It was a busy summer in West Cork but any change in the 9% VAT rate could seriously affect tourism, warn locals.

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SKIBBEREEN

 

Chris Crowley, 

West Cork Hotel

‘The government has to retain the 9% VAT rate for the hospitality industry,’ Chris Crowley, manager at the West Cork Hotel in Skibbereen, said. ‘If this rate is increased at all, it will have a major impact. Over 25,000 visitors came to Skibbereen and the surrounding area this year. Any increase would have to be passed on to the customers and this would destroy our competitiveness. We want to be able to increase the numbers travelling to
West Cork, not reduce them.’

 

Sean Carmody

Charles McCarthy 

estate agents

‘There must be a move to reduce the stamp duty for commercial property and land,’ auctioneer Sean Carmody at Charles McCarthy’s estate agents said. ‘Stamp duty is at 6% and this is proving to be a substantial extra cost for buyers. The government should reduce the rate back to 2%. Capital Gains Tax also needs to be looked at and reduced. It has been a busy summer here, but with the Brexit uncertainty, I hope that the government will have plans and measures in the Budget to deal with any eventuality.’

 

BANDON

 

Ruth Healy, Urru

‘I am expecting the 9% rate of VAT to be retained. It would be premature to take this support from smaller, rural-based hospitality businesses,’ Ruth Healy of URRU Culinary Store said. ‘I am anticipating incremental improvements to reduce the differential in entitlements between self-employed and PAYE earners. I would love to see a simple and sufficiently attractive town renewal scheme to jump-start the economies and society in country towns eg Living over the Shop, Section 23, and so on.’

 

Justin Galvin, 

Finbarr Galvin Motors

‘Previously, the government had a scrappage scheme and this needs to be reinstated again,’ Justin Galvin of Finbarr Galvin Motors said. ‘With the push on to turn to more environmentally-friendly cars such as hybrids and electric vehicles, a scrappage scheme whereby VRT rates are reduced would promote newer and safer cars on the roads. Another action the government must take is to incentivise young people into taking up apprenticeships. We have good jobs available for school-leavers, but we’re having problems filling them. There should be support for young people and for employers so that they promote more people taking up apprenticeships.’

 

Caroline Crowley, 

West Cork Business

Network

‘Many parts of West Cork are trailing behind in terms of economic recovery. Priority in the Budget should be given to addressing rural challenges and investing in rural enterprise,’ said Caroline Crowley of the West Cork Business Network. ‘As regards spending, greater investment is needed in high speed broadband to support all businesses. We also need greater support for family businesses, farmers and self-employed women. Increase funds that offer targeted support for female entrepreneurs. Farmers in West Cork have suffered greatly owing to the extreme weather conditions and unstable livestock prices, accelerated capital allowances should be provided to them in relation to all capital expenditure incurred in between 2018 and 2020. In general terms, the earned income tax credit should be brought into line with the employee tax credit, and a reduction in USC would go some way to alleviating the pressure on all taxpayers.’

 

Kieran Hurley, 

ODM Financial

‘There need to be more supports put in place for middle income families,’ believes Kieran Hurley of ODM Financial Advisors. ‘These middle income workers are responsible for 70% of the country’s tax income and they are facing increasing costs, right across the board. 

‘They need support with childcare, doctors’ fees, health insurance and of course support for first-time buyers. The tax bands need to be expanded and while some sectors are doing well, many more have not seen much of the upturn. The budget needs to address the lack of infrastructure in West Cork to encourage and promote more people living and working here. We must help people who want to work here and help them set up their businesses and create jobs here in West Cork.’

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