Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 140 - Alcohol sales legislation [37000/15].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 140 - Alcohol sales legislation [37000/15]. (22 Oct 2015)

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140. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Finance if he will include a proposal (details supplied) in the Finance Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37000/15]


Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan):  Alcohol is a controlled substance and any person wishing to sell alcohol requires a licence to do so, either via the on-trade or the off-trade.  Licensed premises have a graduated licence duty fee structure based on turnover, with a total of six bands ranging from €250 to €3,805. The costs of these licences are unchanged since 1992. Overall, the licence fee is a very small percentage of the annual turnover of the business and, as the amount of the fee is linked to the turnover, the cost of the licence reflects the income of the premises. 54% of all licensed premises are only liable for the lowest annual licence fee of €250 while a further 24% only pay €505.


The licence regime differs for the off-trade where there are generally three categories of licence "Wine Retailer's Off Licence"; "Spirit Retailer's Off Licence"; and "Beer Retailer's Off Licence", which can include cider.   An off-licence may hold a combination of one, two or all three of these licenses. The current rate of duty payable for renewal of each Off-Licence category currently stands at  €500 per category. Therefore, an off-licence wishing to provide all 3 categories of products is liable to an annual fee of €1,500.  


It is important to note that the licence fee accounts for the administrative costs associated with the issuing of each licence.


Taking all of the above into consideration, I do not intend to abolish the licence fee for what would be the majority of publicans.

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