Monday 22 January 2018

'9pc VAT rate will boost cafe consumer confidence'

The business owner: Angela Rutledge

Businessowner Angela Rutledge
Businessowner Angela Rutledge

Business owner Angela Rutledge has welcomed the retention of the 9pc VAT, which she hoped will bring a boost to consumer confidence.

Angela Rutledge (38), who lives in Clontarf, co-owns three of the capital's best-known cafes and restaurants.

Together with her sister Michelle Moloughney and her brother-in-law Liam Moloughney, she runs Woodstock in Phibsborough, Moloughney's in Clontarf and Olive's Room cafe in St Anne's Park. The trio created an additional 20 jobs this year.

However, despite the excise duty on alcohol remaining the same the 64pc on a standard bottle of wine is still cause for concern.

"The crazily high excise duty makes us uncompetitive for tourists and it's another tax on the middle classes," said Ms Rutledge.

She said the increase of the tax-free rental allowance under the 'rent a room scheme' could help her businesses retain qualified staff who struggle to pay high rents.

The income ceiling for the rent-a-room scheme is to increase by €2,000 to €14,000, which the business owner is happy with, but she admitted: "It's a drop in the ocean.

"Now the rent is on the rise and a lot of our staff move on because of that," she said.

"The increase for the rent-a-room scheme has to be acknowledged; it would be good to see the reintroduction of interest relief for rented properties to create an incentive."

Irish Independent

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