Tuesday, August 27 16:53:51
The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) today rejected any attempt by the Government to impose additional charges on the sector when the cost of doing business in Ireland is a major issue for the industry.
A loophole that has allowed hotels and other businesses with multiple televisions to hold one licence will also be closed.
Speaking this morning The Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte said, "As it stands, hotels only pay the price of a single licence fee despite often having dozens of television sets". Mr Rabbitte said the new charge would address this "serious anomaly".
In response to the Government's consultation on the introduction of a Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) charge the Chief Executive of the IHF states that an increase in the TV licence fee paid by hoteliers would be a further cost on an already over-burdened sector.
"Hotels and guesthouses are already operating in a high-cost, low-margin environment." states Mr Fenn. "The imposition of an additional charge for customers to view a television in their hotel room would raise operating costs at a time when hotels are struggling to break even."
The IHF believes that this would be another form of indirect taxation on its guest as they point out "almost 70 per cent of our are guests are Irish residents and would have already paid a TV licence". They also believe it is unfair on overseas guests who "already contribute to licensing systems in their country of residence."
"Irish tourism has experienced a severe economic shock in the last five years and this has been exacerbated by the stubbornly high cost of doing business in Ireland which is a major issue for hotels," insists the federations spokesperson.
The IHF believe their is only one way that hotel sector will survive in this country. "hotels have had to reduce prices and implement severe cost cutting measures. Any additional costs would put further pressure on businesses."