Butler leads calls for building VAT cut

Seamus Butler.
The Government should consider implementing a lower VAT rate to help re-energise Longford’s faltering construction industry.

The Government should consider implementing a lower VAT rate to help re-energise Longford’s faltering construction industry.

According to Chamber of Commerce President Seamus Butler, the roll out of a lower nine per cent levy should be considered in order to tackle the region’s jobs crisis.

He was speaking in the same week latest Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures showed a marginal decrease in the number of people on Ireland’s Live Register. Nationally, there were 421, 737 claiming social welfare in May, a fall of just 700 on the previous month. For local business leaders like Mr Butler however greater concessions, particularly for struggling building firms are needed.

“There needs to be some form of stimulus package,” he said. “This issue is not just about the services industry or retail and exports sector. What they (government) should be looking at is doing a similar deal with VAT as they did with the hospitality sector when that was reduced from 13.5 per cent to nine per cent.” Other locally based experts pointed to the ongoing struggle many firms are still experiencing in accessing credit from banks.

“Consumer demand has not risen and credit access is still very limited,” said Longford County Enterprise Board CEO Michael Nevin.