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Government should repeal penal rates

24 June 2004

Government should repeal penal rates on Public Holidays

The Government should repeal penal rates on public holidays if they are concerned about surcharges being applied, says Bruce Robertson, Chief Executive of the Hospitality Association.

Comments by the Minister of Tourism that surcharges are inappropriate from a tourism perspective are a bit rich coming from a senior member of the Government that caused the surcharge to be necessary.

Without surcharges many premises simply won’t open on public holidays and that’s surely not an outcome that the Minister of Tourism will welcome. Suggestions that these costs can be recovered by a one-off increase are simply naïve. In a competitive environment that simply doesn’t happen as we do not operate in a cost plus economy.

Christmas/New Year 2004 will see, from a cost perspective, the number of public holidays effectively double from four to eight which will result in either more surcharges or establishments deciding to remain closed.

The Hospitality Association would be delighted if the Government addressed the Minister of Tourism’s concerns about the surcharge by removing the necessity for it.

ENDS


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