Sunday 26 January 2020

VAT stripped right back

Liam Fay

Say what you like about strippers but they know a thing or two about stimulating growth. Unfortunately, the economic agility of the pole-dancing sector is overlooked by a political class which fails to appreciate that some small and medium-sized business people wear 10-inch stilettos.

The instinctive bias against these movers and shakers was highlighted last week by Independent TD Maureen O'Sullivan, inset, who questioned whether lap-dancing clubs should benefit from the reduced VAT rate of 9pc for the hospitality industry.

"It depends on one's interpretation of what constitutes hospitality but I feel the rate could have been increased in some areas," she declared.

O'Sullivan's distaste for strip-clubs is understandable and shared by many. In truth, however, much of what is peddled under the banner of "hospitality" looks decidedly unseemly in daylight.

Perhaps the most helpful way to view lap-dancers is as creative artists. They're expressing an idea – an idea called hope: the hope that burns within the hearts of boozed-up middle-aged executives that, one day, a young woman with fake breasts and big hair will spontaneously want to have sex with them.

This hope may be forlorn and pitiful but it is an abundant national resource, going forward.

Let freedom jiggle.

Irish Independent

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