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IMF calls for VAT reduction

26th November 2008

The Irish Marine Federation (IMF) has called on government to immediately reduce the top rate of VAT in order to keep Irish businesses competitive. The IBEC affiliated trade association expressed concern at the implications of the announcement by the UK Government that it intends to reduce the UK VAT rate by 2.5% to 15% with effect from 1 December.

The Federation, that represents, the marine leisure industry has also renewed its call for VAT on safety equipment such as lifejackets and radios to to be abolished.

"The decision by the UK Government to reduce their VAT rate to 15% makes Ireland less competitive in comparison to our nearest neighbour. The difference that a 6.5% VAT differential makes to large ticket items such as boats and equipment can be considerable. It will compound the problem of people crossing the border to shop" said Federation spokesman Mark McAuley.

"As a country we need to look at our VAT rate and consideration should be given to a lower rate as part of a package to stimulate the economy and reverse the decline in retail sales." McAuley added.

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