Tuesday 19 September 2017

Retail group calls for tax cuts as it warns on high costs

Retail Ireland director Thomas Burke said sales grew 3.7pc in the first half of 2017 but retailers remain cautious. Stock image
Retail Ireland director Thomas Burke said sales grew 3.7pc in the first half of 2017 but retailers remain cautious. Stock image
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

RETAILERS have warned competitiveness is being eroded by higher costs, including Government-dictated charges such as commercial rates, the minimum wage, and levies attached to utilities.

Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, said there is growing concern in the industry and particular worries regarding Government-controlled costs.

In its latest Retail Monitor, Retail Ireland director Thomas Burke said sales grew 3.7pc in the first half of 2017 but retailers remain cautious.

"With prices now below 2008 levels, retailers remain addicted to deep discounting as a means of driving footfall and additional spend."

Retail Ireland is pushing for Budget 2018 to ease the tax burden on Irish consumers and retailers, including retaining the 9pc VAT rate for some retail categories, including food service, newspaper sales and hairdressing.

It also wants support for retailers looking to develop online, and investment in infrastructure and Brexit alleviation measures.

Meanwhile, Fáilte Ireland has warned that hoteliers risk doing long-term damage to the sector if prices are hiked on the back of the current tight supply of beds.

An analysis of Visitor Accommodation in Dublin 2015-20 by Fitzpatrick Assoc-iates, for Fáilte Ireland indicates that 5,382 rooms are due to come on stream between now and 2020. But, it notes over 50pc growth in visitors since 2010 without any extra stock of tourist accommodation.

Irish Independent

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