Drinks industry calls for reverse of excise increase
New report shows that the alcohol market has fallen by 10 per cent since 2007
Survey shows that bar sales of alcohol have fallen at a faster rate than retail sales since 2007. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times
The alcohol market in Ireland fell by 10 per cent between 2007 and 2012, resulting in almost 1,000 pubs closing and employment in the pub sector falling by 17 per cent a new survey shows.
Commissioned by the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI), and authored by DCU economist Anthony Foley, the survey shows that the total volume of the alcohol market declined by 9.9 per cent between 2007 and 2012, with bar sales declining by 33 per cent, compared to an overall decline of 12.5 per cent in total retail sales. Full-time employment in bars declined by 25 per cent between 2008 and 2011.
The report also reveals that the industry still provides over € 2 billion in VAT and excise receipts and generates over € 1 billion in exports annually. The drinks sector also provides approximately 62,000 full or part time jobs.
Chairman of DIGI, Peter O’Brien, said that the association is now calling on the Government to reverse last year’s excise increase in alcohol in order “to allow this important sector and its employees to build a more sustainable and positive future”.
“The future of Irish pubs and independent off licences remains a source of great concern, with figures casting doubt on the long term viability of these sectors, we urge the Government to set up a task-force to help protect these sectors,” he said.