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The Grape Depression – Tax on Wine in Ireland is Now Over 50%

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The Grape Depression – Tax on Wine in Ireland is Now Over 50%

The Grape Depression – Tax on Wine in Ireland is Now Over 50%
September 02
09:30 2015

The Irish Wine Association has released its annual Irish Wine Market review, which calls on the Government to reverse excise on alcohol in the next Budget. There has been a 62% increase in excise since 2012 and the report states that the increase in excise has a detrimental effect on the cash flow of wine distributors and importers. The total excise payable to revenue is now €14,640 higher per 1,000 cases of wine than it was in 2012. This, the industry says, has put jobs at risk and has made it impossible to scale up and take on new talent.

Tax take on a standard bottle of wine is now over 50%. Irish wine excise is the highest in the EU and 14 countries pay no excise on wine. Excise on wine is now 106 times higher in Ireland than France. Spanish tourists pay almost twice the price for wine in Irish restaurants that they do at home.

According to the report, 1,100 people are employed directly by Irish wine distributors and importers, and thousands more jobs are supported in the 13,000 pubs, restaurants, and independent off-licences that sell wine. 8.5 million cases of wine were sold in Ireland in 2014, up slightly from 8.2 million cases in 2013, but below the 2011 level of 9 million cases.

Michael Foley, Chairman of the Irish Wine Association and Marketing Director at Findlater Wine & Spirits, says: “Excise is the number one threat to the Irish wine industry. Draconian excise hikes have meant that since 2011 the tax take from a standard €9 bottle of wine has increased from 39% to 54%. This impacts on the cash flow of Irish wine importers and distributors, as many have to pay excise as an up-front cost. The vast majority of these jobs are in small, family-operated businesses across Ireland, making it difficult to take on new talent. The message coming from the industry is clear: reverse excise increases and support thousands of small businesses and jobs across the industry.”

The report outlines the popularity of wine variations, with 50% of wine drinkers choosing white, 47% choosing red and 3% choosing Rose. Chile has overtaken Australia as the No 1 country of origin with France, Spain and Italy retaining their 3rd, 4th and 5th positions. Wine is Ireland’s second most popular alcoholic beverage after beer. 57% of wine drinkers are women and 43% are men.

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