Lisa Eccles (centre) and Rossa Danagher (right) pictured at the IHF press conference in Buswell's Hotel in Dublin earlier today.
Hairdressers are warning they may have no choice to raise prices if the VAT rate returns to 13.5%, as planned, in March.
A group representing hairdressers says the lower VAT rate needs to remain in place for the sector.
In 2011, VAT for hairdressers and hospitality businesses was reduced to 9% to help stimulate growth and create jobs in the sectors during the financial crash.
However, the rate is set to return to 13.5% from 1st March.
Lisa Eccles - who runs Zinc Hair and Beauty in Kilmainham - is vice-president of the Irish Hairdressers' Federation.
She says a government report carried out in 2018 found the lower 9 per cent rate was actually of huge benefit to the economy;
"And their own report actually stated that it was successful. It provided economic growth for the industries, it actually stimulated employment in the sectors.
So we just don't understand why, now in 2023, we're facing into probably as challenging a year, if not more challenging than what we faced in 2011."
Rossa Danagher runs two salons in Donegal and Sligo.
He says ultimately any VAT increase will lead to businesses having to increase their prices for customers;
"Well, I don't think any salon can afford to absorb it. So no, unfortunately, this is going impact on the client coming in the door."
Irish Hairdressers' Federation, fears legitimate businesses increasing their prices will lead to stylists and customers turning to the shadow economy, which is estimated to cost the State €50 million in lost VAT revenue.