Drinks lobby calls for 15% cut in alcohol tax in next budget

Drinks Industry Group of Ireland says ‘very high’ excise is a ‘direct tax on tourism’

The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) said: “An alcohol excise reduction is a vital response to the new and immediate effect of the uncertainty caused by Brexit.” Photograph: iStock

The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) said: “An alcohol excise reduction is a vital response to the new and immediate effect of the uncertainty caused by Brexit.” Photograph: iStock

 

The drinks industry lobby group is calling for a 15 per cent reduction in excise on alcohol in the next budget. In its pre-budget submission, the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) says excise is a “direct tax on tourism and that a reduction would support the drinks and hospitality industry, boosting economic growth”.

It points to the recent Brexit vote in the UK and says the British market generated over €1 billion in tourism revenue for Ireland.

The group said Brexit has caused sterling to decline significantly and this is likely to continue for some time. This has given an immediate boost to cross-border purchasing of alcohol.

Maggie Timoney, DIGI chairwoman and managing director at Heineken Ireland, said: “An alcohol excise reduction is a vital response to the new and immediate effect of the uncertainty caused by Brexit.

“Alcohol tax is a regressive and inequitable tax and ours is very high by EU standards. We believe that the particularly high Irish excise tax is detrimental to economic growth and economic activity. We would urge the Government to reduce excise by 15 per cent in October’s budget.”