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Call for excise cuts on alcohol

Thursday, June 19 17:36:42

The price of alcohol in Ireland is significantly higher (78pc) than elsewhere in Europe and the blame for the difference is being laid squarely at the door of the Government.

According to the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) there should be a reversal of excise duty on alcohol, after new figures from Eurostat revealed that alcohol prices were the highest in Europe. DIGI represents restaurants, hotels, pubs, independent off-licences and suppliers, and said excise rate is a tax on jobs, on tourism and on consumers.

According to EUROSTAT the large price difference was mainly due to the difference in taxation, DIGI said, adding that between December 2012 and October 2013, the Government had increased excise on beer by 44pc, on spirits by 37pc and on wine by 62pc.

Peter O’Brien, Chair of DIGI and Diageo’s European Corporate Relations Director said today: "Excise is a tax on jobs, it is a tax on tourism and it is a tax on hard-pressed Irish consumers. Tax increases have damaged Ireland’s reputation as a destination for drinks related capital investment, tourists have identified the high price of alcohol as the second biggest disincentive to visit Ireland (after the weather). Today’s EUROSTAT figures provide compelling evidence for an excise reversal."