Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin North West and spokesperson on Local Government, Paul McAuliffe, has today welcomed new regulations that will remove fees for street furniture for the hospitality sector.

The introduction of this temporary removal of street furniture licence fees for tables and chairs outside a hotel, restaurant, public house or other establishment where food is sold for consumption on the premises will assist the hospitality sector in 2021 by reducing the cost for maintaining outdoor dining on public places. The measure compliments the Outdoor Dining Enhancement Grant Scheme announced by the Minister for Tourism last month providing grants of up to €4,000.

These draft Regulations are particularly aimed at facilitating outdoor dining in Summer 2021 and at assisting and supporting the hospitality and restaurant sector to recover once it re-opens in line with the phased easing of Level 5 restrictions. Furthermore, no fee will be applied –on a permanent basis -in respect of the installation of awnings, canopies and heater in this industry.

There is no doubt that the hospitality sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic and the Government will continue to provide supports to ensure they reopen successfully when it is safe to do so. Going forward, I also believe that local authorities should have full autonomy over setting their own fees for street furniture and that this power should be devolved from national Government.

I welcome Dublin City Council’s recent decision to establish a City Recovery Task Force and as a former Chairperson of Dublin City Council’s Enterprise and Economic Development Committee, who proposed some of these measures several years ago, I look forward to Dublin City Centre becoming a thriving city, once again,” concluded Deputy McAuliffe.