The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) has called for the Government to reduce the high excise tax on alcohol in Budget 2019, as it will ‘provide tangible and immediate support to Ireland’s drinks and hospitality businesses before the Brexit deadline on 29 March 2019.’
Unlike some other taxes and duties, which are subject to EU approval, the Government has control over Ireland’s alcohol excise levels, DIGI said in a statement.
The drinks group said that the tax reduction policy measure can be implemented next week to protect this industry in the short term.
“In less than six months, Brexit will become reality. If talks collapse, a hard or no deal Brexit scenario will cause severe problems for Ireland’s UK-dependent drinks and hospitality industry,” Rosemary Garth, Chair of DIGI and Director of Communications at Irish Distillers, said.
“If the Government does not pursue an active ‘defence policy’ for the drinks and hospitality industry in Budget 2019, then the Exchequer could lose out on as much as €135 million in revenue.”
Second Highest Excise In EU
Gareth highlighted that by lowering alcohol excise tax, which is already the second highest in Europe, drinks and hospitality businesses can ‘save money in case exports and tourism numbers drop, and invest in new products, new markets and new staff to power through any Brexit-triggered downturn.’
DIGI, in its Budget 2019 submission, says that the Minister for Finance can reduce them immediately as a defensive measure against a hard or no deal Brexit, two increasingly likely scenarios.
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.