Wexford Chamber is calling on the Government to commit to not increasing the rate of VAT in the forthcoming budget. The call was made as the Retail Sales Index for August 2011 shows that the volume of retail sales decreased by 3.6% in August 2011 when compared with August 2010 and a monthly decrease of 0.4%.
Madeleine Quirke, Wexford Chamber Chief Executive said, “Consumer confidence is fragile. In the lead up to Christmas, traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for many retailers, consumers need to know what to expect in Budget 2012. An assurance that VAT will not be increased can help to protect against a further decline in retail sales. Stability is needed in order to restore confidence and increase domestic consumption.”
“The Government must also remain mindful of the impact of VAT rates on trading in border regions in particular. The VAT changes applied in 2008 in the Republic had a disastrous impact on trading in the Border region in particular and were a strong contributor to the significant declines in VAT revenues in the period thereafter. Such an occurrence must be avoided at all costs in order to support businesses in the border region as they compete with their counterparts in Northern Ireland, particularly in the lead up to Christmas,” Quirke concluded.