Irish wine excise tax 20 times higher than Greece

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Ireland has the highest excise tax on wine in the EU, significantly ahead of Finland and the UK, the next most expensive countries.



13 July 2018 | 0

Irish consumers are paying more excise tax on their glass of wine than anyone else in the European Union.

Currently, Irish consumers pay 80 cent excise tax on a standard glass (187ml); compared to four cent per glass in Greece; and one cent for the equivalent in France.

The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) say that such a high rate of tax is unfair to consumers and publicans, pointing out that 14 EU countries, such as Spain or Italy, don’t charge any excise tax.

When VAT is applied in addition to excise – 34% of the cost of a glass of wine goes to the government in taxes in Ireland.

Furthermore, when an Irish consumer purchases a €10.50 bottle of wine in an off-license, €5.12 will go to taxes through VAT and an additional excise tax – almost half of what they spent.

Successive excise tax increases in Budget 2013 and 2014 (excise was raised by €1 in 2013 and 50 cent in 2014) have seen the excise tax on a bottle of wine purchased in an off-license rise to €3.19, making it the most expensive in the EU.

This excise rate compares to €2.54 in the UK and three cent in France.

Commenting, Donall O’Keeffe, secretary of DIGI and chief executive of the Licensed Vintners Association said: “Ireland has a rich heritage of exporting world-famous drinks and drinks businesses around the world, with profound economic and cultural benefits.

“However, our overall alcohol excise tax— the second highest in the EU—is stunting the long-term sustainability of this important industry, which supports 210,000 jobs nationwide.

“DIGI is calling on the government to reduce Ireland’s high rate of excise tax. A reduction in alcohol excise tax will encourage the growth of our drinks and hospitality sector, return money to Irish consumers and make Ireland more competitive internationally.”

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