“Outlook for Next Year is Very Bleak” - Vintners’ Federation of Ireland
VFI members from all over Ireland walked to the Dáil on Thursday last, outlining key measures for the Government to implement to help save the 5,000 jobs predicted to be lost in the pub industry in coming months.
Padraig Cribben, CEO of the VFI said, “Last year over 5,000 people were made unemployed from our industry. The news of the proposed increase by Minister Noonan is devastating to say the least and only confirms to publicans that the outlook for next year is very bleak.
“Over 90% of the pubs in Ireland are family businesses and the majority of these are already struggling to keep their doors open. The last thing they need is an increase in VAT.
“This proposed 2% increase will have a crippling effect on our members. Only last Thursday they felt compelled to spend time away from their businesses, which they can ill afford to do, to walk on Dáil Éireann to vent their frustrations having just experienced the worst October in over two decades. The implementation of the new drink driving legislation was the final straw for many.
“The route to recovery is to stimulate the domestic economy not further depress it. This will act as a further dampener on spending and will threaten jobs in the total retail sector. These job losses will result in lower PAYE returns, higher Social Welfare payments and, ironically, lower VAT revenues because of the reduced spending capability.
“Today the Minister reported his intention not to increase income tax in order to protect jobs. But the Minister needs to realise that this VAT increase will have a devastating effect on jobs in the pub industry.”
30,000 jobs have been lost in the drinks industry in the last five years alone, at an estimated current annual cost to the exchequer of €630m. The VFI reiterated that positive action is required urgently or more jobs will be lost in an industry already on its knees.