News & Events

Government announces €16m package for pubs, bars and nightclubs

  • 40% Restart Grant Plus Top Up for pubs, bars and nightclubs that remain closed to help them to reopen
  • Waiver of court fees and associated excise and stamp duties relating to the renewal of pub and other liquor licences in 2020
  • Waiver of excise duty on on-trade liquor licences on renewal in 2020

The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar TD, the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe TD, the Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath TD, and Minister for Justice Helen McEntee TD, today announced a further €16m support package to help pubs, bars and nightclubs, recognising the economic impact of Covid-19 on their businesses and to assist planning and adaptation for their re-opening.

New measures

  • Restart Grant Plus 40% Top Up: Those businesses remaining closed and planning their re-opening can now receive a minimum of €5,600 and a maximum of €35,000 under the Restart Grant Plus. This can be used to help additional expense and adaptations associated with re-opening when the time comes.
  • Waiver of court fees and associated excise and stamp duties relating to the renewal of pub and other liquor licences in 2020.
  • Waiver of excise duty on on-trade liquor licences on renewal in 2020.

These measures are in addition to the existing Restart Grant Plus, Tourism Adaptation Fund, the wage subsidy scheme, commercial rates waiver, liquidity supports and tax measures (such as warehousing of tax debt and reduction in VAT).

The Tánaiste said: 

“It’s been a really difficult few months for pub owners. Our publicans are making a massive sacrifice to protect their communities and the government is determined to help.

“This package, in addition to the grants and subsidies already available, will help pub owners with expenses to do with getting ready for re-opening. The increase in the Restart Grant Plus means pubs that are remaining closed will receive a minimum of €5,600.  We want to make sure that our pubs are in a position to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said:

"The Government is acutely aware of the unique circumstances which pub owners find themselves in as a result of COVID19. The package of measures announced today builds on the supports already available and will help to address some of the unique challenges faced by this sector.

“The waiving of court fees, excise and stamp duties in relation to licence renewals is a necessary step in supporting these businesses.” 

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath said: 

“The past few months have undoubtedly been really difficult for publicans and their staff, particularly for those who have been unable to trade for public health reasons. Pubs are an important part of the social fabric of our country and the measures announced today are another support to help them come through this very challenging time and be able to reopen when the time is right.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said:                 

“I welcome the financial support measures adopted by Government for pub and restaurant businesses, many of whom have been hardest and longest hit over the last few months.” 

“Importantly, and especially in light of the enforcement legislation I brought to Cabinet today, it preserves the basis for An Garda Siochana to object to a renewal of a licence where necessary, while at the same time ensuring that the cost to a pub or restaurant owner of renewing their licence is significantly reduced.”

Notes for Editors

40% top-up to the Restart Grant Plus for pubs/bars/nightclubs that have remained closed and planning their re-opening

The Restart Grant Plus gives grants to businesses to help the adapt, re-open their business and get back to work. It provides a minimum payment of €4,000 and a maximum payment of €25,000 based on the rates bill of the enterprise in 2019. The increase to 40% will now provide a minimum of €5,600 and maximum payment of €35,000. To qualify for the scheme, enterprises must have 250 employees or less; turnover of less than €100,000 per employee; and reduced turnover by 25% as a result of COVID-19.  Applications are through Local Authorities.

Waiving of court fees and their associated excise and stamp duty relating to renewal of licences in 2020 (€1.2m)

The relevant court fees, excise duty and stamp duty are as follows:

  • Court certificate for renewal of pub licence (where required) - €150
  • Public dancing licence - €490 (€335 court fee plus €155 excise duty)
  • Public music and singing licence - €150
  • Renewal of registration of registered club - €655 (€150 court fee plus €505 stamp duty)
  • Restaurant certificate - €150

Waiving excise duty payable for renewal of on-trade licences in 2020 (€8.2m)

The rate of excise duty on renewal of an on-trade licence is based on the annual turnover of the premises based on alcohol sales only.

Overview of supports currently available to Vintners (pubs/ bars/ nightclubs) 



Wage Subsidy Scheme

Weekly payment of up to 85% of net pay and from September a flat rate up to €203 per employee to assist with wage costs


Weekly payment of up to €350 with level based on previous income and tapered payment to March 2021.

Commercial Rates Waiver

Commercial rates waived for a six-month period

Restart Grant Plus

Minimum grant of €4k and maximum grant of €25k based on rates bill. Enhanced grants are available to businesses in Counties Offaly, Laois and Kildare.

Liquidity Supports

Variety of liquidity measures put in place.

Tax Measures

Measures including warehousing of tax debt and reduction in headline VAT rate from 23% to 21%; Stay and Spend initiative

July Stimulus Measure

€10m for Tourism Adaptation Grant