The National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) breathed a sigh of relief as the Government yesterday decided not to increase excise duty on alcohol, a move that will help with the difficulties currently being faced by the independent off-licence industry in Ireland.
Commenting on the announcement Evelyn Jones, chairperson NOffLA stated; "NOffLA welcomes the Government’s decision to support the independent off-licence sector and the 5,800 people employed in the industry by not increasing excise on alcohol.
"We are still operating in a challenging economic climate but today’s announcement will serve to provide a degree of reassurance to small business owners all over Ireland."
Jones went on to say that 544 off licences have closed since 2008, which has resulted in a loss of 3,000 jobs across the industry. "While today’s announcement is very positive we will continue to engage with the relevant stakeholders to represent the interests of our members, independent business owners embedded in communities across the country."
Jones also said that NOffLA believes the Government has an opportunity going forward to further strengthen the SME sector, bring stability to communities and address important public health concerns through the introduction of a ban on the below cost selling of alcohol.
She said, "The availability of cheap alcohol as a means to drive footfall in multiples encourages irresponsible retailing and is a threat to the broader community through alcohol abuse and anti-social behaviour. Furthermore, such a ban would save the exchequer €24 million per annum."
NOffLA also took the opportunity to call on the Government to introduce a minimum unit price on alcohol to discourage deep discounting and promote responsible retailing. Jones said, "As part of this activity, we will continue to work for the introduction of mandatory accredited industry training as well as the requirement of everyone, regardless of age, to produce identification when purchasing alcohol."
© 2014 - Checkout Magazine by Genna Patterson