RAI slams “Sunshine tax”

At a recent meeting with the Restaurants Association of Ireland Dublin City Council officials confirmed that the capital’s street furniture scheme costs €150,000 to administer yet takes €451,619 a year from Dublin’s hospitality trade in outdoor seating charges .

The fees paid by restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and pubs to put customer seating outside their premises require that the outlet serve food that can be eaten onsite.

Planning permission is needed for street furniture and council officials carry out on-site consultations at every establishment seeking a licence for outdoor furniture.

In 2014, DCC collected the following outdoor seating charges from the following Dublin areas:

  • Dublin 1 €70,000
  • Dublin 2 €325,000
  • Dublin 3 €716.00
  • Dublin 6 €15,000
  • Dublin 7 €4.000
  • Dublin 8 €9,000


“These fees are applied based on the number of tables on a public footpath outside a premises plus an annual licence fee,” commented RAI Chief Executive Adrian Cummins, “This is a double taxation measure. The local authority rates are already so high that these charges threaten to cripple a business that employs local people, uses local produce and is vital for local business.”

He continued. “From a survey carried out among RAI members across the entire country, it was found that a restaurant’s Annual Rates Bill ranges from €980-€150,000, averaging at €15,813. That kind of figure is ludicrous.”

A working group on cafes and restaurants has been established by Dublin City Council Paul McAuliffe. The group will provide recommendations to the Council officials and the Council regarding street furniture. The group is looking at the license process, costs, outside city centre charges and inspection costs.

Dublin City Council’s Paul McAuliffe’s working group is looking at the license process, costs, outside city centre charges and inspection costs for street furniture outside premises.

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