Deputy Phelan said that the move would encourage growth and help to keep jobs in the Carlow area. ‘I have been heavily campaigning for this in recent months,’ she said. ‘The news is very welcome for local businesses in Carlow and Kilkenny, which have been heavily dependent on its retention.
‘The Budget has promised €500 million of pro-jobs and pro-business initiatives and this is one of them. It will allow the hospitality industry to stabilise, grow and expand their workforces and to maintain a competitive edge, not just for us here in Ireland, but also for our Tourist visitors who have also benefited from this lower rate of VAT.’
Fine Gael TD Pat Deering also said that the move will be a great boost to the tourism sector in Carlow, pointing to the scrapping of the air travel tax as another positive move by the government.
He said: ‘The 9pc VAT rate was originally introduced as a short-term, interim measure to provide a boost to the tourism sector. But Minister Noonan has clearly listened to those involved in the industry, and has taken the pragmatic decision to extend the VAT rate and slash the air travel tax. This will safeguard jobs in the sector and come as very welcome news to everyone involved in the tourism industry in Carlow.