The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI), has warned that excise increases in successive budgets has cost small businesses jobs, as pubs are being forced to close in large numbers.
The group contributed to an Oireachtas Joint Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation discussion on ‘Growth and Job Creation in Town and Village Centres’, where they informed politicians that since 2007, over 1,000 pubs throughout Ireland have been forced to close.
“I know that you are all too aware of the serious challenges currently facing our rural communities," explained Padraig Cribben, CEO of the VFI, when speaking to the Committee. "It is no different in the pub trade – there is no one item that can be blamed for all of our ills, however the fact that 80% of the increase in the cost of a pint in a pub since 2011 has been directly caused by taxation increases, doesn’t help.” DIGI argues that excise increases over successive budgets has cost small businesses jobs, made our tourism offering less competitive and punished the hard pressed Irish consumer. Pointing out that between December 2012 and October 2013, the Government has increased excise on beer by 44%, excise on spirits has increased by 37% and excise on wine increased by 62%. Also speaking to the committee was Dónall O’Keeffe, CEO, Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), also members of DIGI, who said: “Through taxes on drink, pub goers have made a disproportionate contribution to the public finances. The Government must now acknowledge the critical economic role played by the pub industry and give it the help it both needs and deserves.”