Home > Dáil Éireann debate - Budget Statement 2023.

Dáil Éireann debate - Budget Statement 2023. (27 Sep 2022)

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

Deputy Paschal Donohoe: The scheme will be open to businesses that carry on a case 1 trade, are tax compliant and have experienced a significant increase in their natural gas and electricity costs. The scheme will be administered by the Revenue Commissioners and will operate on a self-assessment basis. Businesses will be required to register for the scheme and to make claims within the required time limits. It is proposed that the scheme will operate by comparing the average unit price for the relevant bill period in 2022 with the average unit price in the corresponding reference period in 2021. If the increase in average unit price is more than 50% then the threshold has passed and the business is eligible for support under the scheme. Once eligibility criteria are met, the support will be calculated on the basis of 40% of the amount of the increase in the bill amount. A monthly cap of €10,000 per trade will apply and an overall cap will apply on the total amount a business can claim. The scheme is being designed to be compliant with the EU state aid temporary crisis framework and will need to be approved by the EU Commission in advance of making payments.


This is a significant intervention by the Government in the Irish economy to protect employment. This scheme forms a large part of our once-off measures. We must weaken the ability of a shock to income becoming a loss of jobs. This new policy will help employers with their rising bills and will help to save their businesses.



The small benefit exemption allows an employer to provide limited non-cash benefits or rewards to their workers without the payment of income tax, PRSI and USC. I am increasing the annual limit provided for in the exemption from €500 to €1,000 and I will also permit two vouchers to be granted by an employer in a single year under the exemption. I propose that these changes will apply in the current tax year, so that additional benefits can be paid this year if an employer wishes to do so.



Deputies should also note that I will be following through on the statement from last year in relation to the production of cider, by implementing the option in the revised EU alcohol directive to grant up to 50% excise relief to independent small producers of cider and pear cider, also known as perry.



The Government is committed to supporting the night-time economy, not just our hospitality sector but our musicians, venues, event operators and organisers who are fundamental to creating a vibrant cultural life. In line with a commitment in the programme for Government to modernise our licensing laws, I am today announcing that we will halve the cost of applying for a special exemption order, which late-night venues require in order to open. This will reduce the excise fees for a special exemption application order from €110 to €55. This aligns with a number of measures we have taken to support the night-time economy, and ahead of longer term reforms which will be announced when the general scheme of the sale of alcohol Bill is published within weeks. A financial resolution will be brought in tonight to enact this measure.

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