Wine drinkers reeling after €1 hike
Wine drinkers have been left reeling after a “dramatic” increase in the excise on a standard bottle was announced by Minister for Finance Michael Noonan today.
With effect from midnight tonight, the excise duty on a bottle of wine will increase by €1 while the duty on a pint of beer or cider will go up by 10 cent. A standard measure of spirits will increase by 10 cent.
A packet of 20 cigarettes will increase by the same amount. This is much less than the €1 per packet increase sought by health campaigners. Rolling tobacco will be hit harder with an increase of 50 cent on a 25g packet of tobacco.
The increase in duty on a bottle of wine has been condemned by the restaurant and pub owners.
The Restaurant Association of Ireland said it would bring the industry “to its knees” while doing nothing to tackling below cost selling of alcohol in supermarkets and off-licenses.
Chief executive Adrian Cummins described the Budget as “very short-sighted”.
He said the increase in excise duty was “another burden restaurants don’t need- one euro on a bottle of a bottle of wine will bring a lot of restaurants to their knees. Most restaurants are simply struggling to survive, especially those outside the major cities. Budget 2013 was not what they needed to see before Christmas.”
The National Off-Licence Association was equally dismayed by the increase in the duty on wine describing it as “a disappointing and irresponsible decision”.
Chairwoman Evelyn Jones said it would send people across the Border to shop for alcohol and would drive independent retailers out of business.
Before the last election, Labour took out newspaper advertisement attacking what it said were Fine Gael’s proposal to increase the price of a bottle of wine by €1.
At the time, Mr Noonan responded by describing Labour’s tactics attacking “the big bad wolves” in Fine Gael as derisory.
"I can't understand how the Labour Party have got themselves into a position where they are criticising Fine Gael for putting a euro on a bottle of wine," he said. The issue wasn't "jumping out the doors of Garryowen", he said, perhaps because was “a Castleknock issue”.
The other old reliables - petrol and diesel - have not been targeted although motorists will still be hit next year in the form of substantial increases in motor tax.
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