THE Taoiseach says businesses in Limerick and across the Mid West who have not passed on the recent VAT cut to their customers are letting down their country.
Enda Kenny made his comments in the Dail this week after Limerick TD Niall Collins raised the matter during Leader’s Questions.
The Fianna Fail deputy said he was concerned that a number of local business owners had publicly stated during a debate on Limerick’s Live 95FM that they would not be passing on the VAT reduction to their customers.
The 13.5 per cent VAT, which had applied to certain sectors of the economy, was reduced by the Government to 9 per cent from July 1.
The Limerick Leader is amongst those companies which has passed on the reduction to its customers.
Deputy Collins said he is concerned that some companies have chosen not to pass on the rate reduction.
“All the contributors to the discussion (on Live 95FM) are service providers in the hospitality sector. All of them, bar one, openly admitted to not passing on the reduction in VAT to consumers,” said Deputy Collins.
In reply, the Taoiseach said he was disappointed with the attitude of the businesses in question and he said he would refer the matter to the relevant minister for further consideration.
“The people of whom Deputy Collins speaks are letting down their country and the people,” he said.
The Taoiseach added: “We had enough of the rip-off situation that applied in a range of sectors. This initiative was designed to stimulate the indigenous economy because, as the Deputy is aware, tourism and the hospitality sector is one area where jobs and growth can take place, and as a consequence economic expansion can occur,”
Deputy Kenny said the reduction has been passed on in other parts of the country and he told the Dail: “It is a disgrace that people who are in a position where they know the reduction should be passed on do not do so”.