Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Tourism Robert Troy TD says the alternative budget proposals put forward by Sinn Féin represent a direct attack on Ireland’s tourism industry.

Deputy Troy said, “Sinn Féin is pushing to increase the VAT rate on hotel beds. This is a dangerous proposal which will have a detrimental impact on the tourism industry. If implemented it would result in a drop in the number of tourists travelling to Ireland, which will inevitably lead to job losses.

“It’s disappointing to see Sinn Féin come forward with such a reckless and irresponsible proposal. The tourism industry is still in a fragile state due to the threats associated with Brexit, a sharp fall in Sterling and an uncertain international economy. The last thing we need to do now is to implement a measure which will only serve to increase uncertainty in the tourism industry.

“Increasing the VAT rate will lead to increased costs for businesses operating in the tourism sector, which in turn will lead to higher costs for tourists. Ireland has to remain competitive in order to attract tourists from around the world.

“Fianna Fáil recognises the importance of the tourism when it comes to supporting job creation, particularly in small towns and villages. We will stand by the current VAT rate considering the increased uncertainty facing people operating in the tourism sector.”