In 1984 'The Salthill Hotel' made a protest against government policy on taxation and how consistent tax hikes are affecting the tourism industry. Two and a half years on things have changed.
In letters four foot high and forty eight foot long a Salthill Hotel has made a clear statement against government taxation policy. The protest sign which covers an entire side of the 50 bed hotel reads,
Reduce The VAT
Get Tourism Back
The Salthill Hotel is just one of thirty hotels in Galway claiming that their business has been crippled by the increased 23% VAT rates. However no other hotel has staged such a dramatic protest as owner Michael Murray, who talks about the terrible state of the tourism industry as a result of these tax hikes.
Two and a half years later a new sign has gone up on the Salthill Hotel thanking former Minister for Finance Alan Dukes for the VAT cuts. The new sign reads
The Salthill Hotel Galway says Thank you very much Mr Dukes! VAT on meals reduced from 25% to 10%
Michael Murray feels encouraged by this VAT reduction which he says will be a boom to the restaurant and hospitality industry. He is also hopeful that hoteliers will not just pocket the VAT changes and will pass on the price cuts to customers.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 30 June 1986. The reporter is Jim Fahy.