Cllr Michael Kilcoyne has added his voice to those critising Transport Minister Leo Varadkar’s recent comments that families will still be able ‘to take a holiday’ after the budget. The minister also said “You’ll have to pay €100 for your house and two per cent on a new TV or fridge but that’s it.”
Kilcoyne, who is also chairman of the Consumers’ Association of Ireland, has criticised Minister Varadkar’s comments and has suggested that he is living in a world of ‘make-believe’. But do everyday consumers in Mayo view the proposed 2 per cent VAT increase as a cut too far, and how damaging will the measure be for small and medium-sized businesses?
Westport businessman Stephen Broderick said he believes the speculated 2 per cent VAT increase, which is widely believed to be implemented in the budget today (Tuesday), will be a ‘long-term disaster’ for his electrical business.
Mr Broderick, who is the owner of Broderick’s Electrical Centres based in Westport and Castlebar, said he cannot understand the rationale behind the decision.
Speaking to The Mayo News last week he said that business has been relatively steady in recent weeks. However, he fears that trade has only been brisk because ‘a large majority’ of customers are rushing out to beat the VAT increase.
Admitting that he is anxious about what the coming weeks and months will bring, he added: “Short-term we’ve been OK, but I think the speculated VAT increase will be a long-term disaster for us. January is traditionally a very busy month for us, but I cannot see that being the case this year.”
ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, has said that smaller retailers are already at ‘tipping point’. ISME Chief Executive, Mark Fielding added, “The quick -fix approach to tax generation from a VAT increase highlights the economic illiteracy of a Government that obviously does not understand that with consumer spending on the floor, increasing the costs of goods and services is only going to reduce demand further or force shoppers across the border.”