The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) has responded to Alcohol Action Ireland's call for the government to maintain the current excise regime on alcohol.
In a statement, DIGI said that “excise is a blunt instrument that does not impact on [alcohol] misuse.”
It questioned the validity of data cited by Alcohol Action Ireland, which 'claimed that consumption went up by 6% in 2010, when excise was cut'.
DIGI said that these figures refer to Revenue clearance data, as opposed to consumption, and say they are the result of consumers returning to do their shopping in the South, following a strategic excise cut designed to attract consumers back.
Bart Storan, Campaigner for ‘Support Your Local...’ commented, “The simple fact of the matter is that increasing tax on alcohol, including excise, does not address misuse of the product."
He added: “If we want to tackle alcohol abuse in this country we need to take targeted measures, instead of making headline grabbing pronouncements about measures which will cost jobs throughout the country by continuing to drive people to buy their alcohol on promotion.”