THE VINTNERS’ FEDERATION of Ireland predicts that about 5,000 jobs will be lost in the pub industry next year.
Gathering outside the Dáil today, members of the representative group called on the Government to act immediately to protect the positions.
The VFI laid down its demands to Government after today’s protest outside Leinster House.
Publicans want to see the upcoming Valuation Bill have a clause that allows an appeal on rates to be made in certain economic circumstances.
CEO Padraig Cribben said that the rates burden should be reduced by 15 per cent per year over the next four years.
They have also called on the Government to exempt their members from VAT and VRT on all new seven and nine seat vehicles to recognise that rural publicans are acting as “de facto taxi drivers in rural Ireland”. This marginal saving would go some way in supporting publicans, said Cribben.
The organisation says an increase in the VAT exemption threshold from a turnover figure of €75,000 to €100,000 and a reduction in excise would be welcomed.
“The budget needs to recognize that we currently have the third highest level of excise in Europe and anything other than a reasonable reduction will have a negative impact on jobs,” it said in a statement.
Speaking at today’s gathering, president of the VFI Gerry Mellett said,
The pub industry is on its knees and more than one pub is closing every day. The industry is haemorrhaging jobs and last year over 5,000 people went out of work from our industry. That is the equivalent of five Avivas and next year is looking even bleaker. We have experienced our worst October in over two decades after years of decline and we need urgent action to save jobs.”
VFI claim that 30,000 jobs have been lost in the pub trade over the past five years, costing the Exchequer an estimated €630 million.
Earlier this year, the federation called on the Government to address the issue of cheap alcohol in supermarkets by introducing a minimum price on drink.