Pearse Doherty TD has called on the Minister for Finance to extend the reduction of the Standard Rate of VAT from 23 to 21 percent for a further 3 months.
The reduction, introduced as part of the July Stimulus, will expire at the end of this month. From March, shoppers and retailers will be hit with higher prices once more.
Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has confirmed that he has no plans to extend the relief.
The lower rate of VAT for hospitality services (9%) will continue to run until the end of 2021.
Deputy Doherty said an extended reduction would be a short term measure to provide relief to struggling businesses.
Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said: “Having excluded so many small businesses, suppliers and wholesalers from CRSS for months, the Government now plan to increase VAT on the goods and services they are struggling to sell.
“Given restrictions are likely to last for some time, the reduction in the standard rate of VAT from 23 to 21 percent should be extended for another three months until the end May.
“This would allow struggling businesses to absorb the reduction on their balance sheets to support their cash margins.
“This should then be reviewed at the end of the three-month period.
“The objective of policy must be to insulate the economy, businesses and workers as much as possible so that we can emerge from this crisis without long-term damage.
“Extending the reduced standard VAT rate must be accompanied by an assurance to businesses and workers that wage and income supports will remain in place for as long as is necessary.
“Failure to provide adequate support would inflict long-term damage on our economy and employment.”