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High Tax and Brexit – The ‘Perfect Storm’ For Irish Pub and Tourism Sector

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High Tax and Brexit – The ‘Perfect Storm’ For Irish Pub and Tourism Sector

High Tax and Brexit – The ‘Perfect Storm’ For Irish Pub and Tourism Sector
September 06
09:49 2016

The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) has called for the reduction of excise duty on beer. The group made up of restaurants, hotels, pubs, independent off-licences, and suppliers, has said that the unfair excise rate is a tax on jobs, on tourism, and on consumers. Together with Brexit, the industry is facing its ‘Perfect Storm’.

Previous Governments have increased VAT and excise on alcohol twice in three successive Budgets and now nearly a third of the price of a pint of beer is tax. Irish tax on beer is the third highest in the EU and is ten times the level of Germany and Spain, five times that of Portugal, and nearly three times that of the Netherlands.

According to Donall O’Keeffe, Secretary of the Drinks Industry Group: “The combination of high excise and the uncertainty over Brexit, has caused the ‘Perfect Storm’ for the pub trade and the tourism market in Ireland. Excise is a tax on jobs, it is a tax on tourism and it is a tax on Irish consumers. Excise increases in Budget 2012 and 2013 were applied at a time of economic crisis. Now that we are moving towards recovery, we need to take this heavy burden off consumers, tourists, businesses and employees across the drinks and hospitality sector which currently employs over 200,000 people, in every corner of Ireland.”

He continues: “The pub is cited as the number one attraction for tourists in Ireland according to The Lonely Planet Guide and a 2014 Fáilte Ireland Survey, especially for the British market where in 2015, Ireland received 3.5 million visitors, generating just over €1 billion in tourism revenue. The protection of this sector is vital. We firmly believe that the Brexit Vote has resulted in an even stronger case for a significant reduction in alcohol excise. Budget 2017 should compensate for the negative effect of Brexit, such as exchange rate uncertainty, impacts of a new ‘border’ and the impacts that Brexit might have on British tourists and their spend in Ireland.”

DIGI, is currently running the ‘Support Your Local’ campaign, bringing the message about the positive role that the industry plays in Ireland and highlighting the significant social and economic contribution made by the Irish drinks industry around the country.

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