Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 22 - Proposed legislation [7143/11].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 22 - Proposed legislation [7143/11]. (07 Apr 2011)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/debate/dail/2...

22.  Deputy John Paul Phelan asked the Minister for Finance his views on the inequity between licensing laws governing pubs, in which a fee is charged based on the turnover of the premises, and licensing laws governing supermarkets and other outlets, in which a flat fee is charged based on this; his plans to introduce any changes to the licensing laws; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7143/11]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): It is assumed that the Deputy is referring to the annual alcohol excise licence fees payable by the on- and off-trade respectively. In that context it has to be recognized that the main Exchequer receipts for the sale of alcohol arises from excise on alcohol products, which for example yielded €968m in 2009, compared to a yield of around €13.6m in respect of all alcohol excise licence fees.


Off-licenceowners require a licence for each type of alcohol they sell, for each premises. Excise duty on off-licences is currently set at €500 each per licence for a beer, wine or spirits off-licence, having been increased in recent years. This means that a typical off-licence premises, including a supermarket, offering the full range of alcoholic beverages for sale will have three off-licences and will be paying €1,500 per annum in duty.


Pubs have a graduated licence duty fee structure based on turnover ranging from €250 to €3,805 (total of 6 bands). However, over 70% of pubs fall within the two lowest bands and pay excise duty of €505 or less. Some 85% of pubs pay annual licence fees of €1,140 or less — i.e. well below the usual full off-licence trader at €1,500 per annum. Indeed only around 10% of pubs pay licence fees that are clearly above those of off-licence traders, but the amounts involved are minor compared to the overall tax take otherwise from alcohol. The average licence fee paid by the on-trade is around €778.

It is difficult, therefore, to accept that there is a great deal of inequity in the present arrangements.
Written Answers – Proposed Legislation
Vol 729. No 2
Thursday, 7 April 2011

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