DIGI chair calls for excise reduction in light of new Eurostat findings

“Reducing high excise tax levels would provide a stimulus and protect and support businesses and jobs in the drinks and hospitality sector, Brexit-proofing this industry and ensuring we remain competitive in a post-Brexit Europe," says Rosemary Garth, DIGI chair and communications and corporate affairs director at Irish Distillers

With Ireland subject to the second highest excise tax rate in Europe, DIGI chair Rosemary Garth has urged government to carefully consider new Eurostat data

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25 June 2019 | 0

With alcoholic beverages in Ireland subject to the second highest excise tax rate in Europe, behind only Finland, according to new Eurostat data, Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) has called on government to reduce Ireland’s “prohibitive” excise levels.

Rosemary Garth, DIGI chair and communications and corporate affairs director at Irish Distillers, pointed out that the research showed Ireland has, individually, the highest excise tax on wine, second highest on beer and third highest on spirits.

“For example, €11.92 of a 70cl bottle of Irish produced whiskey, bought in an Irish off-licence, goes to the government on excise tax; that is before we consider the VAT that is applied,” Garth said. “That figure is 75% less if you buy the same bottle of whiskey in Italy, at €2.90. Similarly, excise on a pint of beer in Ireland is 1000% more than Germany, Spain, Bulgaria and Luxembourg. We have the highest level on wine; 14 countries in Europe charge 0%.

“Our excise tax levels on alcohol are prohibitive and undermine our competitiveness, particularly given current political and economic considerations and uncertainty ahead of Brexit,” she added.

“Together with industry, the government should consider today’s Eurostat data carefully ahead of Budget 2020 planning and in preparation for what could be a hard Brexit,” Garth said.

Meanwhile, the Eurostat data also showed that Ireland ranks as the fourth highest country in the EU for prices of food and non-alcoholic drinks.

 

 



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