From midnight tonight, the price of cigarettes and alcohol will go up.
Budget 2014 was expected to bring increases in excise duty and Michael Noonan today delivered, announcing a 10 cent increase on a packet of 20 cigarettes; a 10 cent increase on the price of a pint of beer, cider or a standard measure of spirits; and 50 cent extra on a 75cl bottle of wine
The move comes after last year’s €1 duty on wine, which raised €45 million.
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The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) has expressed extreme disappointment at the decision of the Government to increase excise on beer, wine and spirits in today’s Budget 2014 announcement, and has stated that it will have a negative impact on jobs in the sector. The Chairman of DIGI, Peter O’Brien said that the "decision to increase indirect taxes through huge excise increases is short-sighted and will damage employment".
"The penal excise increases announced today, on top of those introduced last year, will increase the burden on pubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, and independent off-licences," he said.
The Licenced Vintners Association [LVA] also strongly criticised the Government's decision to raise the excise rate on alcohol in Budget 2014.
The publicans said the 20% increase in the excise rate would translate to a 10 cent increase on the price of a pint of beer and on a measure of spirits with additional 50 cent excise being imposed on a bottle of wine.
The Chief Executive of the LVA, Donall O'Keefe said his members were bitterly disappointed at the increase and said it would definitely lead to pub closures and job losses.
"This increase flies in the face of the Government's stated objective of stabilising the domestic economy and promoting jobs and growth. This move will have precisely the opposite effect on the pub sector. It is the second successive Budget we have seen a substantial excise hike in an environment where the pub sector is under huge pressure.
The increase means one third of the retail price of a pint of beer will go straight to the Government and it also means Ireland has one of the highest excise levels in Europe" O'Keefe said.
According to the LVA while retail sales generally have fallen 12.5% over the last six years, the pub trade has seen a decline of 33%. In this context the Association said its members cannot understand why excise rates are being hiked again.
The Association welcomed the decision to retain the 9% VAT rate for the hospitality sector.