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Retail Ireland Urges Budget Tax Cuts

Retail Ireland's Budget 2015 submission is urging the government to use the upcoming budget to give something back to consumers, in a bid to boost spending and jobs in the retail sector.

The IBEC group adds that tax cuts in the budget work well with the recent uptick in big-ticket item sales and the growth of consumer sentiment to a seven-year high.

If the momentum is maintained, Retail Ireland predicts that consumer spending will rise 1.9% this year and 2.9% next year, while consumers are also saving less.

In its budget submission, Retail Ireland is calling for income tax reductions, a cut in excise duty, no increases to the cost of doing business, and new incentives for retailers to develop vacant lots in town centres.

The group is also calling for the retention of the 9% VAT rate on tourism-related services, and for consideration to be given to replicating this approach in other sectors.

Says Retail Ireland's chairman, Frank Gleeson: “Sales have grown every month this year, but the retail recovery shouldn't be taken for granted.

“Tax cuts will boost disposable income and increase spending in the domestic economy. This will translate into thousands of new retail jobs.”

Retail Ireland's five key priorities identified in its budget submission are:

·       No new costs for retailers and a reversal of last year's changes to employers' PRSI;

·       A cut in income tax;

·       A freeze or reduction in other consumer taxes, such as excise duties on alcohol;

·       Incentivising retailer investment in town centres and encouraging the use of vacant outlets;

·       'Confidence-checking' government announcements.

Gleeson adds: “So far this year we have seen huge growth in the sale of big ticket items, such as cars and furniture. This is spending that was deferred during the recession.

“Food, fuel and clothing sales have also improved, but from a low base.”

Gleeson says that now is a critical time for retail. “With intense competition keeping prices down, the decisions on budget day must ensure the recovery continues and gathers pace.” (August 2014)

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