Restaurants in Dublin City need to be given a break and have their commercial rates waived, a Fine Gael Councillor has said.
Fine Gael group leader on Dublin City Council and general election candidate for Dublin Bay South, James Geoghegan has today submitted an emergency motion to provide relief for the restaurant sector in Dublin City from their commercial rates bill.
“Over 40 restaurants from the research that I have done have shut their doors across Dublin in just a short number of months. This sector is hugely important, not just for local employment, but to the vitality of our city centre, urban villages and broader tourism sector,” Councillor Geoghegan said.
“Dublin City Council could rely upon the Local Government Rates and Other Matters Act 2019 to provide for a waiver on commercial rates for the restaurant sector only, without affecting other ratepayers,” he explained.
“The previous Minister for Local Government passed legislation that allows local authorities to grant waivers on commercial rates, specific to certain sectors of the economy. This is a decision which the elected members of the council can make. It may require Minister Darragh O’Brien to make regulations under the Act and if that is needed, he should do so as a matter of urgency.”
Councillor Geoghegan’s emergency motion also calls on the Minister for Finance to separate the treatment of bedrooms in hotels from the sale of food in restaurants and cafés and reintroduce the 9% Vat rate for the sector.
“The bottom line is we need to keep our restaurant businesses open and there is no point designing a traffic plan to encourage more people to enjoy all our city has to offer if we don’t have a thriving sector for residents and visitors to enjoy,” he added.
The motion will be debated and voted on at tonight’s meeting of Dublin City Council.