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Wine Excise Duty Threatens Hospitality Sector, IWA Report States

Published on Aug 19 2013 3:45 PM in Pub/Bar/Nightclub

Wine Excise Duty Threatens Hospitality Sector, IWA Report States

The Irish Wine Association has made an appeal to the Government to reverse the punishing €1 excise duty slapped on wines in 2012's Budget, in an effort to protect Ireland's competitiveness as a tourist destination.

Launching the Irish Wine Association’s annual report today, IWA chairman Michael Foley said Ireland was now one of the most expensive countries in which to buy wine, with the highest levels of excise in the European Union.

"Ireland has the highest levels of excise in the EU and as a result is one of the most expensive countries to purchase wine," he said.

“The reversal of this unfair increase and the protection of the sector is crucial for many small family-run businesses and for the Irish hospitality sector, which employs 10% of the entire national workforce.”

He continued, “In terms of tourism, we all know wine is a key source of profitability for restaurants. At present one restaurant per day is closing in Ireland, while 80% operate at a loss."

"This is clearly a vulnerable sector and if the Government continues to impose huge increases in wine excise, it cannot expect the wine sector to remain capable of supporting the 1,711 restaurants with wine licences and 413 others with full licences,” Foley added.

The report showed about 50 per cent of the cost of a bottle of wine goes to the exchequer, with the industry contributing €231 million in excise and €251 million in VAT in 2012.

The Irish public continues to be one of the lowest consumers of wine in Europe at 17 litres per capita, compared to 30 litres in Denmark.

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