The National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) has today said that it is ‘disappointed’ with the Government’s decision not to decrease excise duty on alcohol in Budget 2018.
The association that represents independent specialist off-licences across Ireland said in a statement today that the decision will leave the independent off-licence sector exposed to Brexit-related pressures including increased cross-border shopping, considering the devalued Sterling and the asymmetrical levels of VAT and excise.
“NOffLA acknowledges the Government’s decision to retain the current level of excise on alcohol, but the association said that it is disappointed that Government has failed to recognise the Brexit-related threats that the independent off-licence sector is facing," Evelyn Jones, Government Affairs Director of NOffLA stated.
“Even with the growth in Ireland’s economy, independent SMEs such as off-licences are still trading in a difficult economic environment, and today’s announcement fails to relieve pressure on our embattled sector.”
Jones highlighted that since 2008 some 3,000 jobs (which equates to 34% of the sector) have been lost, and 554 Off-licences have closed.
“Business owners across Ireland still face significant difficulties and challenges, and this has been exacerbated significantly by the impact of Brexit,' Jones added.
Wine Excise Tax
“While excise has not been increased in Budget 2018 it is also important to note that consumers still have to pay the highest rate of excise on wine in the EU – 175% above the EU average.” He explained.
“The difference between our excise and our European partners is unsustainable and needs to be addressed by the Government going forward.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.