Dublin City Council slammed for ‘sunshine tax’ on outdoor seating

Irish consumer confidence marks time in March

Restaurants association speaks out against €451,619 “sunshine tax” claimed for outdoor tables and chairs in Dublin city 



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22 June 2015

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Dublin City Council (DCC) made nearly half a million euro – €451,619 from outdoor seating charges last year. These are fees paid by shops, restaurants, cafes, coffee and pubs to put customer seating outside their premises.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland has reported that DCC officials confirmed at a recent meeting that the scheme costs €150,000 to administer, thus making a profit of €301,619.

In order to qualify for this scheme, businesses must serve food that can be served to the public 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 license for outdoor furniture. In 2014, DCC collected the following outdoor seating charges from the following areas;  €70,000 in Dublin 1; €325,000 in Dublin 2; €716.00 in Dublin 3; €15,000 in Dublin 6; €4,000 in Dublin 6 and €9,000 in Dublin 8.

Adrian Cummins of the RAI has spoken out against what he describes as “a double taxation measure”. “These fees are applied based on the number of tables on a public footpath outside a premises plus an annual licence fee. This is a double taxation measure,” Cummins said. “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.”

“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,” Cummins added.

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 are looking at the license process, costs, outside city centre charges and inspection costs.



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