Arts, Sport, Culture: ‘Disappointment’ at failure to scrap late-night license for hard-hit venues

Nightclub promoter Buzz O’Neill-Maxwell has expressed disappointment that the Special Exemption Order (SEO) for late-night venues has not been scrapped entirely under the 2023 budget.

e said the night economy continues to struggle post-pandemic and still needs stronger support.

Excise taxes for venue owners are now being halved from €110 to €55 as part of the Government’s program to modernize our licensing laws, but he doesn’t think that goes far enough.

“There are certain elements of this budget that we certainly welcome, but all the discussions we’ve had with the government during and after the pandemic have called for SEO costs to be removed.

“So we’re a bit at a loss as to why it’s still there, as the value it brings to sales is only around €7m, which will now be €3.5m.

He pointed out that the venue’s owner, Ian Redmond of Dublin 2 nightclub Tramline, had to spend €11,000 on his SEO for the month of October alone.

This will now drop to €5,500, but it’s still an additional cost for hard-pressed venue owners.

“This is money badly needed by venues to stay open and literally keep the lights on. So many venues have all upgraded their air conditioners at a tremendous cost and they are there permanently. This decision is disappointing,” he said.

Arts and Culture Minister Catherine Martin has pledged €6million to support Ireland’s night economy as she said the 2023 budget was “like no other”.

As part of this, Mr Martin will appoint eight nightly advisers who will lead reforms across the country, an announcement Mr Maxwell-O’Neill welcomes as long as their recommendations are taken seriously.

“But that will only work if they have some power and control and the advice they give is implemented in every area of ​​local government,” he said.

“There is no point in having an overarching government policy on the night economy if it is not enforced by local authority.

“Dublin, like other cities, cannot survive on two nights of trading, which is effectively eight hours on a Friday and Saturday.

“It’s really striking that almost 80 percent of the bars in the capital don’t stay open much longer on what used to be a great Thursday night.”

Mr Martin has unveiled a €60 million fund to support community, arts, culture, Gaeltacht and sports organizations facing increased energy costs.

VAT on newspapers will be reduced from 9 per cent to 0 per cent, in a boost for the Irish media industry after a long campaign for more support.

Around €6 million will go towards setting up a new media grant fund to support local courts’ reporting, as well as €7.5 million to set up a Coimisiún na Meán for online safety and media regulations.

In the run-up to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, an additional 4 million euros are available to support high-performance athletes.

In tourism, it’s 15 million euros for marketing Ireland abroad. Arts, Sport, Culture: ‘Disappointment’ at failure to scrap late-night license for hard-hit venues

Fry Electronics Team

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