Restaurants Association of Ireland concerned that new “latte levy” will hit already struggling businesses hard

The Restaurants Association of Ireland have released the below statement on the new “latte levy” announced by the government on Wednesday, which will see a 25-cent levy placed on disposable coffee cups and a significant price hike to many people’s morning coffees.

Adrian Cummins, CEO of the RAI, said:

“The Restaurants Association of Ireland is very disappointed by this latest tax and money grab by the government. While we would welcome a well-thought-out proposal by the government on improving sustainability in the industry, we do not feel that much thought has been given to the impact this levy will have on already struggling businesses. We would encourage the government to instead consider a sustainable business grant, to encourage businesses to make more environmentally friendly choices.

We are also hugely concerned that to date, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland has not presented a full position on the safety of keep cups, and who is liable for someone getting sick from a coffee that is consumed from a keep cup.

This levy is ill thought-out and poorly timed for the sector, especially in a year when the VAT has increased and there have been two boil water notices in the past few weeks. These boil water notices impact coffee shops particularly badly as coffee machines don’t bring water to a boiling point.