‘Tourism VAT cut can reignite local economy’ – Ritchie

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Monday, March 2nd, 2015
SDLP MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie has again called on British Chancellor George Osborne to reduce VAT on the tourism industry in Northern Ireland. Ritchie met with representatives from Pubs of Ulster at Westminster recently to pursue the campaign and made clear that this will be an SDLP manifesto commitment. She said, “A reduction in tourism VAT is a key economic driver that the SDLP has consistently pressed for at Westminster. We have had 3 parliamentary motions since 2012 and I have held a Westminster debate on the issue. “We are calling on the Chancellor to cut VAT rates for businesses in the tourism sector and put us on an even footing with the majority of European countries which have introduced VAT reductions for the tourism sector in recent years to promote tourism and to protect and nurture jobs. “Northern Ireland is at a huge disadvantage because our rate remains high, while the Republic of Ireland has reduced the rate in its own tourism sector to 9%. This gives businesses there a significant competitive advantage over local tourist enterprises and means we are always struggling to compete on a level footing. She added, “The SDLP will make this a key manifesto commitment in the upcoming election and I will continue to press the Chancellor on this, along with my colleagues Mark Durkan and Alasdair McDonnell in the time ahead.”
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