Will the budget affect the hospitality trade?


On Tuesday, two months earlier this year than normal, details of the budget were released. As expected, a now annual hike in the price of alcohol was implemented, with beer and spirits rising by 10 cent, while wine sees an increase of 50 cent.

Local publican Brendan, of Bath Avenue’s The Bath Pub, tells NewsFour the price increase was one that was expected but prepared for by his establishment. “We knew the budget wasn’t going to do us any favours so we purposely bought in a good bit of stock. This means we can hold off on increasing prices until that stock runs out,” he says.

Brendan notes how the nation’s drinking habits have changed during the economic downturn. “People are doing a lot more drinking at home now. Most pubs won’t get busy before 10pm unless there’s a rugby match or other sporting event on.”

The hotel trade has been equally affected by the recession. Hotelier John Loughran, owner of The Sandymount Hotel, tells NewsFour the last four years have been the toughest in the hotel’s 58 year history but this budget, along with last year’s, has helped improve things. “Up to 2012 we were seeing dramatic losses,” he says, “but, thanks to the reduction in tourism VAT from 13.5% down to 9%, this year is the first time in five years that we’ve broken even.”

Loughran feels that had the reduction not been made, it would have spelled the end for many family run hotels like his. “Now performance is improving, we’re in a far healthier position going forward.”

By Eric Hillis