Irish Wine Market annual report calls for excise cut

With the tax take on a standard bottle of wine now over 50%, total excise payable to revenue is now €14,640 higher per 1,000 cases than 2012

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31 August 2015 | 0

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The Irish Wine Association has today released its annual Irish Wine Market review, which calls on the government to reverse excise on alcohol in the next Budget. There has been a 62% increase in excise since 2012 and the report states that the increase in excise has a detrimental effect on the cash flow of wine distributors and importers. The total excise payable to revenue is now €14,640 higher per 1,000 cases of wine than it was in 2012. This, the industry says, has put jobs at risk and has made it impossible to scale up and take on new talent.

Tax take on a standard bottle of wine is now over 50%. Irish wine excise is the highest in the EU and 14 countries pay no excise on wine. Excise on wine is now 106 times higher in Ireland than France, with Spanish tourists paying almost twice the price for wine in Irish restaurants that they do at home.

According to the report, 1,100 people are employed directly by Irish wine distributors and importers, and thousands more jobs are supported in the 13,000 pubs, restaurants, and independent off-licences that sell wine. 8.5 million cases of wine were sold in Ireland in 2014, up slightly from 8.2 million cases in 2013, but below the 2011 level of 9 million cases.

A clear message

Michael Foley, chairman of the Irish Wine Association and marketing director at Findlater Wine & Spirits said: “The message coming from the industry is clear: reverse excise increases and support thousands of small businesses and jobs across the industry”

Evelyn Jones, government affairs director, National Off-Licence Association which is part of the Support Your Local campaign said: “NOffLA carried out a survey of our members earlier this year which found that if excise duty is increased again in the next Budget, 51% of independent off-licences will struggle to remain open, while 44% will be obliged to reduce staff by at least one member. Conversely, if the excise increases were reversed, 70% would hire one or more extra staff and 42% would increase staff pay.”

Wine trends

The report outlines the popularity of wine variations, with 50% of wine drinkers choosing white, 47% choosing red and 3% choosing Rose. Chile has overtaken Australia as the number one country of origin with France, Spain & Italy retaining their third, fourth and fifth positions. Wine is Ireland’s second most popular alcoholic beverage after beer. 57% of wine drinkers are women and 43% are men.

 

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