RGDATA, the representative association for 4,000 family owned shops, convenience stores and supermarkets has welcomed key provisions of Budget 2018.
Speaking this afternoon, Tara Buckley, the RGDATA Director General said that some of the measures introduced by Minister Donohoe would be warmly welcomed by retailers, in particular additional funding for the Gardaí and an increased allocation for rural development. Ms Buckley also said that she hoped that the tax reductions and social protection increases would lead to increased expenditure in local shops and services.
Tara Buckley commented:
"RGDATA welcomes the measures to assist SMEs to prepare for Brexit which is a real concern for our members operating in border areas. We also welcome the additional investment in An Garda Siochana and hope that it will lead to an increased Garda presence on the ground. The increased funding for rural development is also welcome and we will be urging the various Government departments to spend additional funds on Town Centre Renewal projects and a national programme of Town Centre Health Checks with some of this funding”
We note the proposal regarding the sugar tax and will seek to ensure that the collection of this new tax from April next year will not add more regulatory burdens on local shopkeepers. It is also important that the operation of this new tax is monitored to assess if it achieves its public health objectives, rather than just being another charge on consumers.
RGDATA also notes the increase in the excise duty for tobacco products – it is important that this hike does not act as a spur to illegal traders of cigarettes. The Gardaí and the Revenue must redouble their efforts to stamp out illegal cigarette sales.
RGDATA welcomed the retention of the 9% VAT rate for the tourism sector which also applies to Newspapers and Magazines.