Clare retailers claim the current high rate of VAT is having a major negative impact on businesses here.
They’re adding their voice to calls by Ennis based retail lobby group Retail Excellence for a 3% reduction in the tax in the next budget to protect the industry.
The group says action needs to be taken urgently to offset the impact of Brexit, as well as the huge move to online shopping.
The current VAT rate for retailers stands at 23 percent – a figure Retail Excellence Ireland says needs to be reduced urgently.
In 2011, the rate for the hospitality sector was cut to just 9 percent to stimulate the industry – a move Fáilte Ireland claims led to the creation of 10,000 jobs in the space of two years.
Retail Excellence says statistics from Grant Thornton show there have been three successive quarters of decline primarily as a consequence of sterling devaluation and a migration to online shopping – and something needs to give.
The group wants measures to be taken to ensure that online shopping doesn’t further damage the sector – and claim 600,000 euro is spent an hour online, shopping with overseas firms.
Lorraine Higgins from the Ennis-based lobby group says there’s also a need for an inter-departmental support unit to be set up.
Their comes ahead of the first budget under the Varadkar administration, which is due to take place in October.