Late night clubs and bars are calling on the government to remove late licensing fees.
Earlier this month, Culture Minister Catherine Martin launched a new report on the nightlife economy that will soon see overdue license fees.
It will be part of a larger program that will boost the economy and nightlife culture, with increased openings of cultural venues and later closing times for bars, cafes and nightclubs.
And under the new regime, the current system of nightly royalties will be abolished.
However, before these reforms are introduced, the government is expected to pocket more than € 2m in special exemption orders (late license fees) as bars and nightclubs go to court for their bar exemptions. in the usual way this fall.
The LVA (Licensed Vintners’ Association) is asking for a suspension of contributions for its members because the sector is struggling to get back on its feet after a year and a half of closure for many.
Donall O’Keeffe, Managing Director of LVA, said: “Speaking to those who work in the nightlife business, we know everyone is eager to be able to reopen and reunite with their clients and staff at their premises. . “
“585 days of closure is a very, very long time for any business and many are eager to dust the dance floors and turn the lights back on.
“It is therefore a little surprising that these companies, having done everything that was asked of them during the pandemic, are now faced with what effectively amounts to a government tax of more than 2.2 million euros to allow them to reopen their doors.
“It doesn’t seem fair and I think most businesses that have been closed for a year and a half would struggle to pay costs like this up front.
“The return of these sites also has broader implications.
“Reopening nightclubs and late-night bars will help revive nighttime activity, bringing more people back to Ireland’s towns and villages and also benefiting a range of other businesses.
“It will also be a major boost for musicians and DJs, offering a significant increase in the venues where they can perform.
“All of this means that if nighttime activity takes longer to recover due to large upfront costs, there will also be additional repercussions.
“The government can certainly recognize that the simple waiver of these fees for a temporary period is justified given the exceptional circumstances that this sector has faced over the past 18 months?” “
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