Wine hit with 50 cent duty, spirits and pints up by 10 cent
Increases will come into effect from midnight tonight
Excise duty on a standard bottle of wine is to increase significantly again, it was announced by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.
With effect from midnight tonight, the excise duty on a bottle of wine will increase by 50 cent while the duty on a pint of beer or cider will go up by 10 cent. A standard measure of spirits will also increase by 10 cent.
A €1 hike was placed on a bottle of wine in last year’s budget and the latest price increase is set to add around €2 on the cost of a bottle in a restaurant. The 10 cent increase in the price of a shot of spirits may seem comparitively insignificant but it will add a further €2.60 onto the pub price of a typical bottle of whiskey.
A packet of 20 cigarettes will also increase 10 cent, much less than the increase sought by health campaigners. There will be a pro-rate increase in other tobacco products.
Mr Noonan has left petrol, diesel, gas and heating oil untouched.
Speaking about the wine excise increase, the minister said that he understood that the increase “will impact on vintners” but he said it would have to be “considered in the context of the retention of the 9 per cent VAT rate on food and hospitality services” which, he said, were “an ever increasing proportion of vintners’ revenue.”
The Irish Cancer Society described the 10 cent price hike in a packet of 20 cigarettes as “hugely disappointing” and “tokenistic”. The lobby group’s pokeswoman Kathleen O’Meara said that while all tobacco price increases were to welcomed, the Government had “missed another opportunity to take decisive action on the problem of smoking and has only increased the price of cigarettes by a nominal amount”.
She said that price was one of the most effective ways of encouraging people to quit but few smokers would consider a 10 cent increase to be the incentive they need to stop smoking.
She also expressed concern that “cigarette taxes are being viewed as a revenue-raiser despite the massive impact smoking has on Irish people’s health and productivity, costing the economy far more than it collects in taxes. This Budget has not acknowledged that there is a corollary between high priced cigarettes and lower health expenditure.”
The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) is also less than pleased and has expressed “extreme disappointment” at the decision to increase excise on beer, wine and spirits saying it will have a negative impact on jobs in the sector.
“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 and will put more jobs, businesses and livelihoods at risk,” said DIGI chairman Peter O’Brien “This directly contradicts the Minister’s stated aim to support job creation and small business,” he claimed.