The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) has today (1 September) called for the reduction of excise duty on beer, claiming that 30% of the price of a pint is now tax.
In its statement, DIGI also claimed that tax on beer in Ireland is now ten times higher than in Germany and Spain, which alongside the effects of Brexit, is creating a 'perfect storm' for the pub and tourism sector here.
The group, which is made up of restaurants, hotels, pubs, independent off-licences, and suppliers, said that the unfair excise rate is a tax on jobs, on tourism, and on consumers.
Previous Governments 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, said the DIGI,adding that 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.
Donall O'Keeffe, secretary of the Drinks Industry Group, commented: "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."