TOURISTS VISITING Dublin could soon be required to pay a €10 'bed tax' under proposals reportedly being put forward in the new budget.
According to an exclusive from the Irish Mirror, the government is considering introducing the levy as a means of getting around the special 9% VAT rate Irish tourism currently benefits from.
Businesses operating in the sector have benefitted from the reduced VAT rate since 2011 when the government cut it down from 13.5% in a bid to help boost the sector.
But there have been calls for a change in a bid to tackle Ireland's growing obesity problem.
Around one in four adults in Ireland now fall into the category of obese, with leading health industry figures calling for a change to the VAT rate levied against the tourism industry.
It's motivated out of the fact that restaurants and eateries currently benefit from the VAT reduction, which was introduced to help reinvigorate the sector.
Instead, the government could opt to introduce the new tax as a means of generating public funds and preserving the 13.5% VAT rate for tourism.
According to the Irish Mirror, the Dublin bed tax would be set at around 4.5%.
That means that, with the average price of a night's stay in Dublin set at around €200, tourists could be made to pay an extra €10.
The change could be hugely beneficial to the Irish government's coffers though, with initial projections suggesting the tax could generate around €60million a year.
Any proposed change will be unveiled by Finance Minister Paschal Donohue when he presents the Budget Statement to Dail Eireann next Tuesday, 9 October.
The budget is expected to reveal price increases on cigarettes and fuel.
A carbon tax may also be on the cards, resulting in an increase in heating bills and petrol costs.