NOffLA Warns Alcohol Excise Duty Increase Would Result In Loss Of At Least 750 Jobs
The National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) has released the results of its annual members' survey, revealing that 57% of its members said that they will be forced to let staff go if excise duty is increased in Budget 2020 and 63% said that they would struggle to remain open. According to NOffLA, this equates to the loss of at least 750 jobs.
NOffLA's survey found that more than one in three of the association's members do not believe that they will be open a decade from now.
Additionally, 33% of the off-licences that took part in the survey said they experienced a drop in turnover in 2018, while a further 44% said they experienced no increase in turnover at all last year.
NOffLA asserted that these results, which have been presented to the minister for finance, highlight the need for government support.
According to NOffLA, 3,000 jobs have been lost in the off-licence sector since 2008, and the association is calling on the government to protect the remaining 5,900 off-licence jobs in Ireland in light of the threats associated with a no-deal Brexit.
In its pre-budget submission to the department of finance for Budget 2020, NOffLA has called on the government to:
- Reduce excise duty on alcohol by 7.5% per annum over two budgets (10c on spirits/beer/cider and 50c on a bottle of wine) to support Ireland's regional and local economies.
- Apply parity to wine taxation in relation to domestic alcohol.
- Commence minimum unit pricing and reintroduce a ban on the below cost selling of alcohol.
- Establish tighter control on out-of-state imports in terms of VAT and excise collection.
"Growing Increasingly Concerned"
NOffLA government affairs director Evelyn Jones stated, "Our members are growing increasingly concerned regarding the possibility of a perfect storm with a no-deal budget including increases to excise duties to raise government revenues.
"The independent off-licence sector continues to face significant challenges due to Ireland's punitive alcohol tax regime. Our excise rates are damaging for local communities, and have driven NOffLA members to the brink of commercial failure. A no-deal Brexit would likely be the final nail in the coffin for our sector.
"Excise increases also have shown to be a wholly ineffective means of reducing alcohol consumption. Government is now progressing targeted public health measures through minimum unit pricing, and so we are calling on government to reduce excise duty to support local businesses throughout the country."
© 2019 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.