Sinn Féin Senator Fintan Warfield has said the Government should waive Special Exemption Order (SEO) fees in next weeks Budget.
At a cost of €410 per night, a Special Exemption Order is required on every occasion that a venue, nightclub or late-bar wishes to open for an additional two hours from 12.30am – 02.30am.
Senator Warfield said:
“In Sinn Féin’s Alternative Budget announced today, we have proposed waiving Special Exemption Order fees for six months at a cost of €7 million, to support cultural venues, nightclubs and late-bars.
“The Government continues to delay reforming licensing laws that would help to stop the closure of cultural venues and allow Ireland’s nightlife to thrive.
“Sinn Féin’s commitment to waive SEO fees for six months allows sufficient time to implement reform of licensing laws that are having a crippling effect on businesses and cultural activity.
“We need legislation to urgently update and modernise licensing laws and costs, reform trading hours, end early closing on Sundays, introduce a new annual nightclub licence and abolish Special Exemption Orders”.