Rip-off? Excise duty in Ireland is 1,000% higher than Germany

Ireland is one of the most expensive countries in Europe to buy alcohol
Ireland is one of the most expensive countries in Europe to buy alcohol

A new report titled Tax on Alcohol in Europe: Where Does Ireland Rank? by DCU economist Tony Foley has revealed that Ireland's beer excise duty is a whopping 1,000% higher than that of Germany.

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12 May 2017 | 0

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A new report has found that in addition to having the second highest excise duty on beer, Ireland also has the second highest excise duty on alcohol overall (behind Finland), the highest wine excise, and the third highest spirits excise (behind Finland and Sweden) in the EU. Excise duty is calculated per unit of alcohol in a drink.

“This is an anti-competitive tax on one of Ireland’s largest employers,” says Maggie Timoney, chair of DIGI and MD of Heineken Ireland. “It risks Ireland becoming less attractive to investment and tourism.

“Ireland’s drinks industry employs 92,000 people nationwide,” Timoney continues, “while the wider hospitality sector employs 204,000 people, or 10% of the Irish workforce in both cities and rural towns and villages.

“Ultimately,” she said, “high levels of excise are a tax on a sector that contributes significantly to the Irish economy in terms of jobs and tourism, particularly in rural Ireland.

The report’s author and DCU economist Tony Foley says Ireland’s alcohol excise duty is 150% higher than 24 of the other 27 EU member states. “Combined with VAT and retail price,” he says, “this means alcohol is comparatively more expensive in Ireland than it is in many other European countries.”

DIGI will launch Support Your Local 2017 this month – a campaign which seeks to highlight the positive contribution the industry makes to the economic, cultural and social fabric of Ireland, nationally and locally, while also calling for Government supports to ensure the continued growth and development of the industry.

 

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