Govt must act on Brexit competitiveness

With Ireland being the most expensive country in the EU for alcohol according to Eurostat figures and with Brexit negotiations now getting underway, the government needs to act to ensure Ireland retains its competitiveness in terms of goods and services to safeguard against any impact on spending and – importantly - tourism, a key contributor to Ireland’s economy.

So believes the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland’s Donall O’Keefe, Chief Executive of the Licensed Vintners Association, who stated recently, “Since the Brexit vote last year, we’ve seen the value of Sterling fall by 15%.  We’ve also witnessed an increase in cross-border shopping and an 8% decline in visitor numbers from Britain, our most important tourism market, in the first four months of 2017 compared to the same period last year.

“These are issues that will impact Ireland’s competitiveness and we believe that the government must act to mitigate against them. Our excise tax rates are uncompetitive and are a concern for Ireland’s drinks and hospitality industry which employs 92,000 people and supports 200,000 jobs throughout Ireland. A reduction in Ireland’s excise tax rate would go a long way in restoring competitiveness and ensuring Ireland is protected against any impact of Brexit over the coming years.”


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