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Wine Tax Challenging Ireland's Tourism Trade, says IWA Chief

Published on Sep 25 2013 9:14 AM in General Industry

Wine Tax Challenging Ireland's Tourism Trade, says IWA Chief

The extra euro which was placed on a bottle of wine by Michael Noonan in last year's budget, is harming Ireland's pull as a tourism destination, claims the Irish Wine Association.

The tax rise received plenty of attention when it was announced last December, with representative body the Irish Wine Association calling it “disproportionate, excessive” and contrary to the Governments’ “stated aim to support small business”.

We now know how much has been raised in taxes for the State as a result of the measure. The Department of Finance has confirmed €45 million was brought in by the levy between January and the end of August.

Minister Noonan revealed the figure in an answer to a parliamentary question from Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin. Speaking to TheJournal.ie, the Kerry South deputy said he had been curious as to how much the measure had raised, and that he welcomed the figure.

“Anything we can do to bring in extra revenue that means we aren’t having to be cutting, for example, services for older people, is to be welcomed,” Griffin said.

Asked whether he would support a further increase in the tax, he said said that “everything should be considered” in the run up to the Budget.

Excise on wine brought in around €231 million in both 2011 and 2012, according to Department of Finance figures.

The take for the first nine months of this year was at €174.8 million; the expected boost in trade in the run up to December is likely to bring the final figure well above the €231 million figure by the end of the year.

The IWA is reiterating its call on the Government to reverse the measure, which it says is “challenging Ireland’s competitiveness as a tourism destination”.

Chairman of the body, Michael Foley said that “Ireland has the highest levels of excise in the EU and as a result is one of the most expensive countries to purchase wine".

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