THE NATIONAL OFF Licence Association (NoffLA) is to refer the Budget 2014 increase in excise duty on wine to the EU Commission.
Under Budget 2014, from 12am today, the price of beer, cider or a standard measure of spirits went up by 10 cent, while the price of a 75cl bottle of wine went up by 50c.
Last year saw a €1 duty placed on a bottle of wine.
Reacting to the news yesterday, chairperson of NoffLA, Evelyn Jones, told TheJournal.ie:
Frankly we’re horrified to see such excessive increases. This is our second Budget increase in 11 months.
She said that “all of the quality has been sucked out of the bottle and into duty and excise”, adding that Ireland is already “576 per cent higher in taxation on wine than the EU average”.
“So it seems to me that the Government is targeting wine because wine is a non domestic product,” she suggested.
Jones said that since last year’s increase:
we’ve had 11 closures and within those 11 closures you’re looking at 60 jobs, that’s 60 families impacted directly by the Minister of Finance’s actions last year, now we have the same to deal with. It will necessitate more closures, more people on the Dole.
Jones said that she believes “the government seems determined to put these small businesses out of business and allow all the alcohol be sold by multiples”.
“We will be referring the matter to the EU Commission because I firmly believe the government is targeting wine because it is a non-domestic product and putting unfair taxation on it because of that,” said Jones. “For our members, we’re going to have to regroup.”
Jones concluded that the excise is “going to make our sector more vulnerable”.
Read: In numbers: Budget 2014>