Mixed reception to budget measures
Criminals smuggling cigarettes “will be thrilled” with the budget increases on tobacco prices, according to the National Federation of Retail Newsagents in Ireland.
In further criticism of the budget, Dublin Chamber said the property tax was unfair to those living in cities. The housing charity Threshold also warned of “unintended consequences” of the property tax.
However, budget changes offering a fuel rebate to hauliers from next July were warmly welcomed by the Irish Road Haulage Association (IRHA).
The newsagents said cigarette sales account for up to 30 per cent of turnover and stimulate the purchase of additional items. Federation president Joe Sweeney said increasing the sale price “for legitimate outlets will further stimulate the buoyant illegal trade and reduce Revenue income”.
He said it was “hugely frustrating and damaging to retailers when the Government increases taxes on legal products they sell at a time when they do nothing to tackle the illegal sale of the same products on the street”.
Dublin Chamber chief executive Gina Quin said the property tax “lacks regional fairness, as those who live in urban areas pay significantly more than rural areas for the same type of house”.
She said the chamber was disappointed there was no commitment to extend the 9 per cent tourism VAT rate to 2014. But she said the budget changes to the “cash basis” of VAT accounting would ease small businesses’ cash flow.
Responding to the budget, Threshold director Bob Jordan said: “Our major concern is that some of the measures announced in relation to property ownership may impact indirectly – and very negatively – on vulnerable tenants.
IRHA president Eoin Gavin was pleased with the decision to offer a rebate on diesel excise duty to hauliers from July.
However, the Coach Tourism Transport Council said it was unfair its members had not been included in the rebate proposals.