The Junior Minister for Tourism says he supports a 0% Vat rate for the hospitality sector to help them through Covid-19.

Brendan Griffin told the Dáil yesterday that "a speedy recovery for the tourist industry is unlikely". He said that, in the space of a few short weeks, the Irish tourism and hospitality industry has been decimated, with jobs losses in the sector estimated at being in excess of 200,000.

The Junior Minister warned that the restart of the sector will likely be slow and phased, and will not be easy.

The chamber heard from a number of TDs of how rural tourist hotspots have had their "social fabric torn to shreds", with the Wild Atlantic Way and others, "destroyed by Covid-19", as they were often first to close, and will likely to be the last to open.

A number of TDs called for "bespoke solution" for the tourism industry, as well as a dedicated Minister in the next government.

Minister Griffin told the chamber he had heard the calls of various representative groups for a total reduction of the current 13.5% Vat rate to counteract the fallout from Covid-19.

He said that, while it's a matter for the Department of Finance, his view was that a zero percent Vat rate would be appropriate for the industry.

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