VFI calls for enhanced business support scheme 

The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) says the Increased Costs of Business Scheme (ICOB) announced in Budget 2024 will have limited impact for its members who are experiencing increased costs in every aspect of their business. The VFI is calling for the scheme to be enlarged and enhanced before its introduction in early 2024.

VFI Chief Executive, Pat Crotty, states: “The ICOB scheme is presented as assisting small business owners but we found out today that it completely excludes any business paying over €20,000 in commercial rates. This is completely unacceptable as publicans paying higher rates are also likely to employ more staff so face a situation where they have no support but must cover the government imposed increased wage costs. In addition, energy costs remain twice the level experienced two years ago.

“We need a scheme that covers all our members for the simple reason that the cost of doing business has soared for every pub in the country. We can’t have a situation where pubs are penalised for paying higher rates. The scheme must be enlarged and enhanced for all pubs,” concludes the VFI chief executive.


The Increased Costs of Business Scheme (ICOB) allows any small business claim a 50% rebate on commercial rates for 2023, up to a value of €10,000. For example, a business paying €18,000 rates can claim €9,000.

All businesses paying over €20,000 in rates are excluded from the scheme.

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