Nightclubs call on Government to scrap late night venue charges ahead of reopening
The sector are asking Government to waive the fee for the next six months to allow the industry to recover.
The Licensed Vinters Association (LVA) have called on Government to scrap late night venue charges ahead of the reopening of nightclubs.
Nightclub trials are set to begin from 6 September, meanwhile, clubs will reopen fully from 22 October.
The LVA said on Monday ahead of the reopening that the Government imposed charges on late-night venues "should be waived for the next six months to aid the recovery" of nightclubs and late bars.
Any licensed premises who seeks to open late currently has to make an additional payment to Government of €410 per night.
The LVA estimates there are about 300+ late pubs and nightclubs around the country who will have been kept closed for over 500 days as of 22 October, employing approximately 5,000 people.
Any pub or nightclub who wishes to open late must seek a Special Exemption Order (SEO) for each individual night they are looking to remain operating beyond normal closing time.
Only venues who meet strict criteria around CCTV, security and public liability insurance are eligible to apply.
The LVA say that their proposal "would work in a similar fashion to the current liquor license waiver for other hospitality businesses that has been adopted by the Government for 2021."
“While it is great that there is now a date when late bars and nightclubs will be able to open their doors again, it is also true that for many of these venues it will take them a long time to recover,” said Donall O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the LVA.
“There is an opportunity here for the Government to aid the revival of these venues simply by waiving the Government charges involved in Special Exemption Orders.
“Securing an SEO involves Government charges of €410 per night as well as solicitors’ fees, which all adds up to significant expense for businesses who have not been allowed to trade for more than a year and half.
“Under the LVA proposal the application system would remain the same - any late bar or nightclub would still have to go to Court to secure their SEO and Gardaí would be able to voice any potential objections. The only alteration is that the extra expense imposed by the State would be waived for that period."