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Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment Reaffirms Commitment to VAT Reduction

The Northern Ireland Select Committee recently announced that they would consider the issue of tourism VAT. When asked about his outlook in light of the announcement during a Northern Ireland Assembly debate, the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment confirmed his dedication to the campaign.

John McCallister MLA (Independent)

“Mr. McCallister asked the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment whether he will concede that a reduction in the rate of VAT in Northern Ireland for tourism businesses is unlikely to happen, given that he will be aware that the Northern Ireland Select Committee is considering that issue, and to state what other policies he would like to put in place if that differential is not established. “

Jonathan Bell MLA (Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Democratic Unionist Party)

“I do not accept that, just because in a reserved matter people think it less or more likely for us to achieve something, we should not continue to make the argument that we need to achieve it. Our hospitality and tourism sector is going from strength to strength. Figures recently released showed that our tourism is up. We have set ourselves a target of a £1 billion tourism industry by 2020. Major events will do that, such as the Open Championship coming to Northern Ireland, which is good news. As the Member will know, the only times that the Irish Open sold out were at Royal Portrush and Royal County Down, with a staggering 107,000 paying spectators. Just think how that bodes for the Open coming to Northern Ireland. We will continue to make the argument for a reduction in VAT because the case can be well made, and we will continue to support the sector to achieve that £1 billion target.”

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