“We’re waiving these fees and excise duties again in 2021 to support vintners and other licenced premises,” said the Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys, speaking after the Cabinet meeting yesterday, “I know that the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on their businesses and we’re keen to support them in any way we can. This is an important signal of that support.
“Pubs, bars, nightclubs and restaurants will all benefit from this measure, helping to stimulate economic activity and employment as the sector returns to activity in line with Government and public health recommendations.”
The Government has agreed:
- to waive court fees relating to the renewal of specified pubs and other liquor licences in 2021
- to waive excise and stamp duties associated with those court fees for 2021 and
- to waive excise duty for on-trade liquor licences on renewal in 2021.
Welcoming yesterday’s Government decision, the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said, “This time last year, the Government agreed a package of measures for vintners impacted by Covid-19, included (sic) the waiving of the excise duty on the renewal of the pub licence, together with the excise and stamp duty associated with the Court fees for such renewals.
“The Night-Time Economy Taskforce Report recommends that the fees and duties waived in 2020 in order to support vintners and other licensed premises be waived again in 2021 due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sector. I am pleased to extend this measure again this year, which will be given effect in the Finance Act 2021.”
The move will save the hospitality trade some €10 million.
Reaction from the trade has been positive.
“The LVA welcomes this announcement from Government and acknowledges their support on this issue” said LVA Chief Executive Donall O’Keeffe, “it will be positively received by members and really reflects the fact that the licensed trade has been essentially closed over the past 12 months. We’re now looking forward to reopening indoors next Monday and to beginning the challenge of rebuilding our businesses after such an extended closure.”
The Vintners Federation of Ireland has also welcomed the move by Government “after extensive lobbying by the VFI”.
It told Drinks Industry Ireland, “Specifically, the Government has agreed to waive court fees relating to the renewal of specified pubs and other liquor licences in 2021 (including the Publicans’ Seven-Day Licence); excise and stamp duties associated with those court fees for 2021 and excise duty for on-trade liquor licences on renewal.
“The waiving of these fees is an acknowledgement by the Minister for Justice Heather Humphries that while indoor trading resumes on 26th July, publicans will continue to face unique challenges while social distancing protocols remain in place.”