Sunday 25 February 2018

Minister previously rejected 'new' FG plan to help pubs

Minister Michael Noonan. Photo: Tom Burke
Minister Michael Noonan. Photo: Tom Burke
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

Fine Gael's proposal to introduce tax cuts for rural publicans was previously shot down by the party's own Finance Minister.

Kerry TD Brendan Griffin lobbied Michael Noonan to include incentives for publicans in last year's finance act, it has emerged.

But in correspondence with the rural backbencher, Mr Noonan rejected the proposals.

Fine Gael subsequently included the measure, aimed at boosting trade in rural towns, in its General Election manifesto.

And as revealed by the Irish Independent, it is now in a Fine Gael document circulated during the Government negotiations. It pledges to remove the rate of duty for publicans' licences for premises with an annual turnover of less than €190,500.

Currently, publicans earning more than €190,500 pay a €250 duty to Revenue.

The apparent change of stance on rural pubs comes after it emerged Mr Noonan's officials shot down Fine Gael's proposal to slash VAT on new homes from 13.5pc to 9pc.

The Department of Finance said such a measure would not have an impact on supply and would cost the taxpayer €250m.

Last night, Mr Griffin urged his party to forge ahead with both the housing and pub proposals - despite the advice from the Department of Finance.

"It is about time we took control of things. We are the people who have been elected to govern - not civil servants," Mr Griffin added.

Irish Independent

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