The Drinks Industry Group Of Ireland (DIGI) presented before the Joint Oireactas Committee on Finance yesterday, calling for a reversal of excise on alcohol, which it says 'has cost jobs, has made our tourism offering less competitive and has punished the hard pressed Irish consumer'.
The group said that excise increases in successive Budgets has damaged Ireland's tourism offering, driven customers to the North, increased black market trade, and most importantly, has done nothing to tackle alcohol misuse.
"Excise is a blunt instrument that unfairly impacts on small local businesses and does not deliver on reducing harmful patterns, like binge drinking," said Padraig Cribben, CEO of the VFI, which is a member of DIGI. "It is a sledgehammer, not a scalpel."
DIGI called on the government to acknowledge the policy options put forward by the drinks industry earlier this year, including "addressing the widespread sale of alcohol at very low prices in a meaningful way, banning price-based advertising, which encourages an incorrect image of alcohol and the ways in which it should be enjoyed, and also introducing a statutory code on alcohol merchandising.”