Wine sales and a punitive stealth tax

 

Sir, – In response to Eunan McKinney’s letter (September 12th), it is worth reminding your readers that Ireland has the highest rate of excise on wine and the most expensive alcohol in the EU at 175 per cent of the EU average.

For every €9 bottle of wine consumed in Ireland, €3.19 is dedicated to excise alone. This is a punitive stealth tax on the hard-pressed consumer.

Fáilte Ireland is predicting a drop by over 300,000 UK visitors this year due to the collapse in sterling, and UK visitors account for 40 per cent of all international visitors to Ireland. In order to offset the growing economic impact of Brexit, it is vital that the Government decrease alcohol excise rates in Budget 2018 to protect jobs and investment in the hospitality sector.

While wine sales did increase last year, alcohol consumption in Ireland has actually fallen by 25 percent since 2005, according to the World Health Organisation. Irish teenagers today are among the lowest drinkers in the EU and binge-drinking in Ireland is falling at twice the rate of the EU average. – Yours, etc,

JONATHAN McDADE,

Alcohol Beverage

Federation of Ireland,

Lower Baggot Street,

Dublin 2.