We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Cross Border Shopping

Drinks industry calls for drop in 'uncompetitive' alcohol tax as sterling value continues to fall

The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland called for a 15% reduction in the tax by 2021.

THE DRINKS INDUSTRY Group of Ireland (DIGI) has called for excise tax on alcohol to be lowered by 15% over the next two budgets as the value of sterling continues to drop.

Responding to the Revenue’s latest biannual cross-border price comparison, the lobby group said that Ireland’s “uncompetitive” excise duty was worrying amid the uncertain economic forecast ahead of Brexit.

The informal survey by the Revenue Commissioners charts the prices of a number of products, including alcohol, tobacco and oil, in a number of outlets in Dublin and Newry.

The latest comparison, completed in August when the Euro was valued at 0.9166 pence sterling, was published earlier this month.

It showed that 500ml cans of lager and stout were 17c cheaper in the North, with a bottle of whiskey almost €4 cheaper and a bottle of vodka almost €5 cheaper.

Pointing to the continually falling price of sterling as a result of Brexit, DIGI claimed that cross border shopping for cheaper alcohol was threatening Irish businesses and the economy.

“A scenario where consumers avoid shopping locally, and instead travel North for cheaper alcohol, will impact our pubs, restaurants, hotels and retailers, along with our brewers, distillers and manufacturers and therefore needs action,” the lobby group said in a statement.

“Equally, with sterling declining, shopping for all good and services becomes more attractive so this could have a knock on effect for retailers generally.”

The group called on Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe to reduce excise tax on alcohol by 15% over the next two budgets, with a 7.5% reduction in Budget 2020 and a further 7.5% reduction in Budget 2021.

It claimed that this would allow the industry to become more competitive relative to the North.

“It will discourage cross border shopping for cheaper products and for individual businesses, particularly those in rural Ireland, to trade more competitively and better protect themselves for any Brexit-induced downturn,” the group added.

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel