It’s claimed over 2,300 jobs in the accommodation and food services sectors have been created in Kerry since the introduction of the 9% VAT rate.
The Restaurants Association of Ireland says nationally over 170,000 workers are directly employed in the sectors, with 5,300 employed in Kerry alone.
The Restaurants Association of Ireland is urging the government to retain the 9% VAT rate as they believe it has improved the competitiveness of the sector, while ensuring the viability of many small businesses that have been going through challenging times.
The RAI is asking Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure, Paschal Donohoe not to return the VAT rate to 13.5%.
They say in the first quarter of this year, 5,325 workers were employed directly in the accommodation and food services sectors in Kerry and the total annual gross wage paid was €123 million.
Total employment in the sectors in Kerry increased by 1,605 between Q2 2011 and Q1 2018.
Indirect employment as a result of the VAT change is estimated at 738.
The RAI believe the reduced VAT rate has had a huge effect on the competitiveness of the Irish tourism product.
The RAI claim the introduction of an increased VAT rate would only serve to undermine the industry and the viability of many small businesses across Ireland.