Dublin restaurant owners have accused Dublin City Council of profiting from what they call a "sunshine tax" on outdoor tables in the capital.

Figures released by the Restaurant Association of Ireland show that the council received over €450,000 in outdoor seating charges last year.

Adrian Cummins, spokesperson for the RAI, says it only cost the council €150,000 to implement the scheme, leaving a profit of over €300,000.

"These fees are applied based on the number of tables on a public footpath outside a premises plus an annual licence fee. This is a double taxation measure".

He says restaurants in the city are already paying an average of nearly €16,000 in rates.

Figures show that most of the outdoor seating charges arise in the south city area of Dublin 2, with a total of €315,000.

In Dublin 1, the council took in €70,000; in Dublin 6 it was €15,000; in Dublin 8 it was €9,000; while the northside suburban area of Dublin 3 yielded just €716.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Mr Cummins said it was an unjust tax that came on top of high rates that business have been charged, and called for an immediate reduction.

He said: "We want a reduction in this extortionate tax on our industry and to stop the profit making by Dublin City Council on the backs of struggling business.

"We want to see this reformed, we want to see it on a cost neutral basis and we want the reduction in line with what it costs to administer the scheme.

"We'd want to see at least a 70% reduction on this with immediate effect."