NOffLA reaction regarding Government decision to not increase excise duty on alcohol

(13 Oct 2015)

Wine consumers in Ireland still pay 624% more excise on wine than any other European country

13th October 2015: The National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) has today acknowledged the Government’s decision to not increase excise duty on alcohol in Budget 2016, a move which will offer some relief to the difficulties currently being faced by the independent off-licence industry in Ireland.

Commenting on today’s announcement Evelyn Jones, Government Affairs Director stated; “NOffLA acknowledges the Government’s decision to retain the current level of excise on alcohol. While independent SME’s are still operating in a very challenging economic environment, today’s announcement does provide an element of reassurance to business owners all over the country”.

“Since 2008 some 3,000 jobs (35%) have been lost in the sector and 546 Off-licences have closed reflecting the challenges facing business owners all across Ireland. While excise has not been increased in Budget 2016 it is important to note that consumers still have to pay 624% more excise on every bottle of wine purchased when compared to other EU countries. This disparity not only stifles business but limits consumer choice and discourages foreign investment in Ireland. We believe this extreme difference is unsustainable and needs to be addressed by the Government going forward.”

“NOffLA members are committed to the communities they serve, and we believe the Government has the power to make positive changes that will enhance the trading environment for businesses, save the Exchequer money and also benefit the public health. We would therefore, again call on the Government to introduce a minimum unit price on alcohol to discourage deep discounting and promote responsible retailing.”

“Furthermore, we are calling on the Government to illustrate its commitment to the health of communities all across Ireland and a ban on the below invoice cost selling of alcohol. The availability of cheap alcohol as a means to drive footfall in multiples encourages irresponsible retailing and is a threat to the broader community through alcohol abuse and anti-social behaviour. Such a ban would save the exchequer €24 million per annum.”

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