Hotel lobby group hits out over 'excessive' cost of rates
HOTELS are paying up to €3,000 per bedroom in council rates, placing an unfair and disproportionate burden on hotels throughout the country, the Irish Hotels Federation has claimed.
The lobby group said about 900 hotels are paying on average €1,500 per room, which can double in certain circumstances regardless of trading conditions.
The Oireachtas Transport Committee was told reform was needed, including an equitable and consistent process for dealing with properties unable to pay the "exorbitant charges".
"We have members that pay in excess of €400,000 per annum in rates," the IHF told the committee. "Hotels no longer have the earnings to pay these excessive charges."
The group said the hotel industry provides an estimated 196,000 jobs, equivalent to 11pc of total employment.
The group also called for the retention of the reduced 9pc VAT rate on tourism-related activities and urged Finance Minister Michael Noonan to remove any uncertainty.
"A pro-active approach is required from Government to reduce all costs imposed by state-owned agencies (electricity costs, water, licensing etc) and to defer proposals for carbon tax increases until the economy recovers," the IHF said.
"Urgent action must be taken to address local authority rates and charges and wage costs."