Consumers will go North warns DIGI

With a recent report from analysts Goodbody showing a 29% jump in the number of trips to Northern Ireland between 10am and 11am on Saturday mornings, the Government needs to fast-track competitiveness-boosting measures and look again at excise duties.

So believes the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland whose Secretary LVA Chief Executive Donall O’Keeffe has stated that government tax on alcohol is not only driving shoppers over the border but it’s impacting our tourism offering and competitiveness over the medium term.

The combination of high taxes and a weak sterling is driving Christmas shoppers over the border to buy alcohol at hugely discounted rates, he warned, which is having a detrimental impact on exchequer returns, local economies and jobs.

He pointed out that spending on the following basket of goods has proved €53.17 more expensive in the Republic solely due to our higher tax rates and the weakness of sterling (based on Revenue Commissioners Price Survey and exchange rates on 7th November 2016).

Quantity Product Tax saved per unit €
1 Bottle vodka 4.16
1 Bottle whiskey 4.01
1 18 bottles of lager 2.34
6 Bottle sparkling wine 27.9
1 Case of Sauv. Blanc (12) 14.76
Total 53.17

Having to pay the highest prices for alcohol in Europe driven by our very high taxes and the fall in the value of sterling is making it an economic reality for shoppers to cross the border this Christmas, he commented of the postBrexit price difference.

“This will have huge repercussions for jobs and businesses across Ireland and could decimate local economies in the border counties,” he added, “A recent poll by Red C for the Sunday Business Post found that 56% of those living in border counties intended to shop over the border in the run-up to Christmas and with cost savings of this magnitude available, it’s hardly surprising. “

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