Antique dealers here are seeking special tax status as a green business in next month's Budget. 

Their low carbon footprint has led to the Irish Antique Dealers Association (IADA) to seek an exemption from VAT for its business. 

Paul Brereton, President of the Irish Antique Dealers Association, said the trade has one of the lowest environmental impacts of any industry.

He said that an antique chair has a carbon footprint 16 times lower than a recently manufactured piece.

The IADA wants to meet Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe to convince him that the antique trade is one of the greenest businesses around.

The association also believe their awareness campaign can have as big an impact on the environment as the plastic bag tax. 

In a pre-budget letter to the Finance Minister, the association have asked him to investigate removing the 13.5% VAT rate from antiques, both at point of sale and during restoration. 

"Our goods were sourced between 70-300 years ago and have no adverse impact on the planet now," Paul Brereton said.

He said that antiques are central to reuse and recycling campaigns as proven quality, long-lasting products with no impact on resources.

"The industry is the front runner in retail renewables and should be recognised as such by the state. If the state promotes the sale of antiques, it helps the planet through a reduction in manufacturing and waste. We are the original recyclers," he added.

"We believe the removal of VAT on antiques and antique restoration would be a significant move in encouraging people to purchase antiques and to reduce their carbon footprint," Mr Brereton concluded.