Ireland tops EU alcohol price league

Irish alcohol prices are not only the highest in Europe but are 75% higher than the EU average according to new figures from Eurostat.

Ireland ranks first for high alcohol prices, above Finland and the UK in the Eurostat report.

Following publication of the figures, the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland has again called for the reversal of excise duty on alcohol, stating that the high price of alcohol in Ireland is directly related to the unfair excise rate, a “direct tax on jobs, tourism and consumers”.

The Group, made up of restaurants, hotels, pubs, independent off-licences and suppliers, stated that between 2012 and 2013 the Government implemented huge excise increases as “an emergency measure”.

These increases have remained in place ever since.

In less than 12 months (between December 2012 and October 2013) the Irish government increased excise:


  • on beer by 44%
  • on spirits by 37%
  • on wine by 62%.


“Excise is a tax on jobs, it is a tax on tourism and it is a tax on Irish consumers,” pointed out DIGI Secretary Donall O’Keeffe, “Excise increases in Budget 2012 and 2013 were applied at a time of economic crisis and now that we’re moving towards recovery, a reversal should be applied to take this heavy burden from consumers, tourists and businesses in the drinks and hospitality sector. Today’s Eurostat figures provide compelling evidence for an excise reversal.”

DIGI’s current ‘Support Your Local’ campaign highlights the significant social and economic contribution made by the Irish drinks industry. The campaign brings the message about the positive role that the industry plays in Ireland around the country. Recent data compiled by DCU Economist Tony Foley showed that the drinks industry and hospitality sector employs over 200,000 people in every corner of Ireland.

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