Alcohol and tobacco is most expensive in Ireland (174%) followed by the United Kingdom (157%) across the European Union, according to the recently published Eurostat figures.
“We note Eurostat figures published today which show that Ireland is the most expensive country in the EU for alcohol,” said Patricia Callan of the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) and Director of Alcohol Beverage Federation Ireland (ABFI).
Price levels for alcoholic beverages and tobacco showed significant variations between the EU Member States.
ROI and the UK was followed at a distance by the three Nordic EU Member States – Finland (139%), Sweden (127%) and Denmark (123%).
High Tax Levels
The Eurostat report also shows that the large price variation is due mainly to differences in taxation of alcohol products among EU members states.
“Ireland has the second highest excise tax rate in the EU, behind only Finland. We have the highest excise tax on wine, the second highest on beer and the third highest on spirits," Callan stated.
“Our high excise tax is an anti-competitive tax on one of Ireland’s largest employers and fastest-growing industries."
Callan said that the figures show that Ireland’s price levels vary significantly and that our excise rates are completely out of kilter with our European peers.
"This is yet another reminder that action is needed now," she said.
“Ultimately, high levels of excise are a tax on businesses and a sector that contributes significantly to the Irish economy in terms of jobs, particularly in rural Ireland. It is also a penal recession-era tax on consumers which needs to be reversed.”
The report indicated that in 2017, price levels for consumer goods and services differed widely in the European Union (EU).
The Eurostat figures also showed that price levels varied by almost one to three across the EU Member States and Ireland joint with Sweden has the third highest price level.
Denmark (142% of the EU average) had the highest price level, followed by Luxembourg (127%) Ireland and Sweden (both 125%), followed by Finland (122%) and the United Kingdom (117%).
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.