Minister for Tourism Shane Ross
Offaly County Councillor and RENUA Ireland leader John Leahy has called on Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, to resign following the delivery of Budget 2019.
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue delivered the budget for the coming year in the Dáil on Tuesday afternoon where he announced a plan to increase the rate of VAT in the hospitality sector to 13.5%.
Leahy slammed the move and Shane Ross for not protecting his department in tourism and allowing the "regressive VAT change to hit rural Ireland."
"The government's reversal of the only tax break enterprise in rural Ireland has received in a decade is a deeply regressive step," Leahy claimed.
The RENUA leader added, "thousands of jobs were created by the reduced 9% VAT rate. The cut proved that taxes on work and enterprise are always regressive."
"Now, because of profiteering in Dublin, rural Ireland's recovery, at a time of great danger from Brexit, is being hit. This represents a total political rout for the Tourism minister Shane Ross," John fumed.
"Mr Ross was so busy writing everyone else's budget he apparently forgot to protect his own Department," he continued.
"The €466 million drive-by fiscal shooting tourism has experienced under his non-watch means the minister must resign immediately."
"Thousands of rural jobs have been now put in danger by his toothless performance. Dublin hotels can pay this increase. The cost for rural Ireland in a budget which saw increases for every other Department will be more shutters going back up on our main streets," Leahy concluded.