The Licensed Vintners’ Association (LVA) has warned that government policy will be a huge driver of costs in 2024, from the increased VAT rate on food to the 12% increase in the minimum wage, the expanded sick-pay scheme, and the pension auto-enrolment.
Taking these factors into account, the LVA has stressed that the Business Support Scheme will need to be practical for small businesses.
‘Built With Smoke’
“Given the significant additional costs that pubs and other hospitality businesses will be facing in the months ahead – especially those which are being imposed by government – how accessible this programme proves to be and what level of aid is to be provided will really show whether this is actually about helping businesses, or if it is just another scheme built with smoke,” said Donall O’Keeffe, chief executive of the LVA.
“We are also disappointed that the government has once again refused to reduce excise duty, with Ireland continuing to be at the highest levels in Europe, and missing a straightforward measure which would directly aid hospitality businesses.”
The LVA also raised the need for the government to provide funding for additional, higher-visibility policing across Dublin to be delivered on a long-term, sustained basis.
The association has welcomed the allocation of additional resources in the Budget to An Garda Síochána, noting that it is vital.
“There has been widespread recognition of the need for a more visible policing presence in Dublin for several months,” said O’Keeffe.
“While some of the recent short-term actions have helped, we hope these resources will go towards putting extra feet on Dublin’s streets on more sustained basis.”