The 2015 budget sees taxes on alcohol and fuel remaining the same, with the price of cigarettes hiked 40 cent but publicans relax, microbreweries are here to help!
Finance Minister Michael Noonan revealed during his Budget speech on Tuesday afternoon that excise relief is to be increased for microbreweries which, considering the growth in the craft beer events throughout the country, should be a huge boost to the indigenous drinks industry. The retention of current levels of taxation on alcohol acts as another aide to the pub industry, as tourism and hospitality firmly entrenches itself as one of Ireland’s most important industries.
“I’m increasing the annual excise relief production ceiling for microbreweries from 20,000 hectolitres to 30,000 hectolitres,” Noonan said. “Today is about looking forward,” he said, “it’s about building for the future upon this solid foundation that has been so painstakingly laid.”
The Vintners Federation of Ireland was quick to laud the decisions, with optimism high in the industry, with tourism figures continuing to rise.
“We are pleased that the Government has decided not to impose further increases in excise at a time when the pub trade continues to experience significant challenges,” said the VFI in a statement.
“Today’s decision is also welcome news for Irish consumers who as a result will not see their pockets further lightened. This is crucial at a time when we are seeing a tentative increase in consumer confidence. We also feel this decision is recognition of the contribution of the Irish pub which accounts for over 50,000 jobs and contributes significantly to the exchequer.”
The Licensed Vintners Association welcomed the fact that after three successive budgets of alcohol tax increases the Government has decided not to increase excise rates further in Budget 2015. The chief executive of the LVA, Donall O’Keeffe, said the fact that excise rates would remain unchanged, brought a welcome degree of stability to alcohol taxation and would be well received by members. In addition the retention of the 9% vat rate for the hospitality sector is also positive. “While excise rates were not increased this time round the fact remains this country still has one of the highest excise rates on alcohol in Europe. Excise is a tax on hard pressed consumers, damages our competitiveness from a tourist perspective and ultimately costs jobs. Through taxes on drink, pub goers have made a disproportionate contribution to the public finances. As the economy and the country’s fiscal position improves we look forward to seeing significant reductions in excise rates in next year’s budget. The Government must acknowledge the critical economic role played by the pub industry and give it the help it both needs and deserves” Mr O’Keeffe said. The LVA also acknowledged the support for craft brewers as it facilitates product innovation and greater consumer choice in the market place.