There is a very good Barr Talk column in the Inishowen Independent out today which talks about the stupid rules put in place in the North and here that restrict shopping there to 1pm and 6pm on a Sunday and has the pubs closed here on Good Fridays even for non-believers.

However, it’s not just in the area of religion that the Government has stupid rules.

Here are some more:-

1. The tax is on businesses premises rather than on companies as it is everywhere else in the world. This means that if a pub or restaurant wants to open again but the previous owner owed taxes then the taxes have to be paid by the new owner. This is keeping pubs and restaurants shut all over Ireland that could be opened and paying wages and sending the Government income and company tax.

2. Business rents can only go up not down. How did they get that through the Dáil? Did a majority of our representatives really vote for this?

3. The cost of a late night licence for pubs like the Town Clock has gone up from €210 to €410 (and maybe further I hear). Also the licence only goes to 2pm now rather than 2:30pm. That’s like cutting off a fly’s legs and arms and expecting it to fly. This did for the Town Clock. People only went up there at one o’clock. With bouncers to pay, plus a DJ and staff wages as well as heating and light, that was a lot of drink that had to be sold in an hour. In the North the equivalent licence cost is just £25, I’m told

4. Putting up the stamp duty on late night licences for festivals from €150 to €750. That has put the total cost up from around €750 to €1,500. With fewer pubs to share the cost it means that a lot of income is lost and a lot of overtime wages not paid because the pubs can’t afford the licences during festivals. That’s less income tax and company tax for the Government. It’s likely to hit the DylanFest and BeatlesFest.

Some of the impediments are caused by people who want bars shut earlier or not opened late at all. Others are put in place by people with vested interests.

However, if Ireland football team scored as many own goals as this they would never get to any World Cup or European Championship Finals.