The National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) has released figures from its 2014 members survey showing that 60% of independent off-licences across Ireland face the risk of closure in 2015.
As part of its 2015 pre-Budget submission, NOffLA called on the government to reverse the excise duty increases that were implemented in 2013 and 2014, and instead put in place measures to prevent the sale of below-cost alcohol.
The survey showed that 48% of respondents reported a decrease in turnover in 2013, attributed to the impact of the excise duty. Evelyn Jones, Chairperson, NOffLA, said the results of the survey starkly illustrates the impact of current government policy and how it is leading to the destruction of local businesses all across the country.
She said, "Increasing excise duty does not discourage alcohol consumption, rather it contributes to unemployment, promotes criminal activity and removes all public health controls.”
Jones said that NOffLA is calling on the government to reintroduce a ban on below-cost selling of alcohol and provide security to the 92,000 jobs associated with the alcohol industry while ensuring a more effective means of reducing alcohol consumption.