LIMERICK Chamber is appealing to Minister for Finance Michael Noonan to maintain the lower rate of VAT in hotels, pubs and restaurants and to temporarily reduce the tax in the home improvement sector.
On the eve of Budget 2014, Chamber chief executive Maria Kelly said the measures were among five key measures business demanded.
She called on Minister Noonan to “introduce a special, time-limited, reduced VAT rate for the home repair, maintenance and improvement sector”.
“This could incentivise consumers to invest in their home and, in turn, support domestic demand,” she said.
And maintaining the 9% VAT rate for hospitality and tourism enterprises would “provide further security for that vital employment sector across all regions in the country”.
The Chamber is also arguing against any increase in employers PRSI or any increase in sick pay obligations on employers.
Minister Noonan has been asked to consider using the savings from the merger of local authorities in Limerick and elsewhere and new property tax revenues “to support retailers and other small businesses in town centres”.
Entrepreneurs could be rewarded and incentivised by reducing their capital gains tax.
Other pro-business measures around access to capital and the Employment Investment and Incentive Scheme would also help small business lead the way in recovery.
“Government must show a commitment to business as this is the most effective route to sustainable growth, economic stability and job creation,” Ms Kelly said, adding the budget must above all avoid increasing the tax burden on business in 2014.
“We may well be at a turning point. The progress made to date shows that the Government has made some sound decisions but there are further tough choices ahead. Government must not be distracted from its main task of closing the deficit and getting the economy back onto a sustainable footing. That will only be achieved by giving business the support it needs to grow, develop and create jobs,” she concluded.