A warning that job losses in rural communities are inevitable, as local authorities continue to increase rates and destroy small restaurants, has been levelled by the Restaurants Association of Ireland ahead of its AGM in Dublin today.
A recent business survey carried out by the RAI found that most participants had experienced a rise in their rate charges in the last five years, despite poor trading conditions.
The survey also noted that restauranteurs pay an average of €23,279 in rates a year, which contributes to making Ireland the most expensive country in Europe to run a restaurant.
The association also says that Irish restaurants pay the highest catering wage rate in Europe, while Ireland has the highest excise duty on wines in Europe and pays 24% more for food cost inputs than other European countries.
Adrian Cummins, the RAI's chief executive said that "many restaurants, especially in rural areas, don’t see any return on the rates they pay."
"Issues like waste and water treatment, street maintenance and availability of parking should be managed more efficiently and effectively by local authorities, but restaurateurs are having to carry the high cost of these necessities," said Cummins.