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27th Sep 2022

What budget 2023 means for the hospitality industry: Cider, energy schemes, and licensing laws

Emily Mullen

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has described budget 2023 as a “cost-of-living Budget”.

The eagerly awaited Budget 2023 has been announced on September 27, with a range of measures aiming to tackle the cost-of-living crisis we are now facing due to the war in Ukraine.

Small businesses were evident throughout Minister Donohoe’s budgetary speech, “the government understands and I understand the worries of small business owners and that is why the Government will help” he said in a live stream from Dáil Éireann.

“If you are an older person, you are having to spend more of your pension on heating your home; if you are looking after a family, you are facing higher grocery bills; if you are running a small business, you are trying to cope with increases in the cost of energy,” he added.

The Cost of living package is expected to top €4.1bn, and within that Minster Donohoe announced a €1.4bn Business Energy Support Scheme [BESS], which aims to give back 40% of the increased cost of electricity bills to business owners. Under BESS, businesses will be able to avail of grants of up to €10,000 per month per premises.  This scheme aims to help with rising energy costs but is subject to each business meeting certain criteria including tax compliance and demonstration of significant energy cost increases. Under this scheme, businesses must register with Revenue and these grants will be calculated by comparing average unit prices from 2021 to 2022.

The 9% VAT Rate for Hospitality will remain in place until the end of February 2023 as previously announced. Minister Donohoe did not mention an extension to this, as a result, the VAT rate is set to increase to 13.5% in March 2023.

Under the support of the Night Time Economy act, Minister Donohoe issued a commitment to modernising licencing laws, under this, the cost for submitting a Special Exemption Order has been halved from €110 to €55. The General Scheme of Sale of Alcohol Bill with reforms will be announced in the coming weeks.

A 50% excise relief for independent cider and pear cider producers has also been announced, aimed at increasing the production of cider and perry.

An extension of the current fuel excise reduction has been extended until the end of February 2023, alongside the 9% VAT rate for electricity and gas.

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