CORK cafés look set to avoid a sunshine tax after the local authority confirmed it has no plans to clamp down on street furniture.
Fears had been raised in recent weeks that bars, restaurants and cafés would be hit by a sunshine tax, increasing the licencing costs associated with putting tables and chairs on the street.
Hospitality bodies cautioned against the move, suggesting that it would be the death knell for Ireland's emerging café culture, with many small cafés and restaurants in Cork critical of the proposals from central government.
However, Cork City Council this week confirmed that there are no plans to hike licence costs in the city.
Previously, city businesses paid €50 for tables and chairs and €10 for sandwich board advertising, with proposals potentially increasing this tenfold.
The move has been welcomed by Independent councillor Mick Finn.
He said, "This would have been a retrograde step just at a time when businesses are getting back on their feet and Cork gains a reputation for al fresco style services at various cafés and pubs.
"City businesses already pay significant costs for this street furniture, not to mention rates and high rents, so I am satisfied that further charges will not be levied. Many establishments have added outdoor areas which have significantly enhanced the city's offering to residents and tourists alike and we should be encouraging this, not doing the opposite."
Mr Finn joked that a sunshine tax may not actually yield much income in Ireland anyway.
"If it's based on actual sunshine, it should actually be a grant, not a tax," he added.