The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) is calling on the Government, to take special notice of Ireland’s drinks and hospitality sector as it formulates Budget 2018 before the UK officially leaves the EU.
It a statement, it outlined that recent figures show a 6.2% decline in British tourism in 2017 and rise in cross-border shopping could cost economy €130 million before the end of the year.
“Ireland has already felt the tremors of Brexit." Donall O’Keeffe, Secretary of DIGI and Chief Executive of the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), said.
"Our new report estimates that if trends in British tourism and cross-border shopping continue, perpetuated by a devalued sterling, Irish drinks and hospitality businesses could lose as much as €130 million this year alone."
Key Policy Changes
The organisation has recommended five key policy changes and initiatives:
1) Reduce excise tax by 15%
2) Maintain the 9% VAT rate for the hospitality industry
3) Lobby for and secure EU funds to protect Ireland’s drinks and tourism businesses
4) Create regional ‘Brexit hubs’ to provide support and highlight specific local issues faced by rural drinks and hospitality businesses
5) Establish ‘Brexit Business Board’ to develop national plans and initiatives for business cost reductions
O'Keffee said that DIGI strongly urges the Irish Government to enact pro-enterprise, pro-growth measures in Budget 2018 that safeguard Ireland’s most vulnerable industries, particularly the drinks and hospitality sectors which are disproportionately exposed to Brexit.
He outlined, "Many of DIGI’s recommendations can be put into action immediately, like reducing excise tax. Ireland’s punitive excise tax, the second highest in the EU, makes our drinks and hospitality businesses less competitive, particularly for British tourists with weaker sterling and Irish shoppers drawn across the border for more affordable alcohol products."
© 2017 - Checkout Magazine by Donna Ahern