As part of its campaign to have the Government reverse excise on alcohol in the upcoming budget, the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland has made use of the CSO’s ‘2012 Annual Services Inquiry’ to highlight the €210 million invested in the Irish economy in 2012 as well as the sector’s turnover of €7.1billion.
The Group has stated that excise is an unfair tax on small businesses, consumers and tourism. It noted that an excise reversal would have a positive knock-on effect on the economy with more people socialising in bars and restaurants.
DCU Economist Tony Foley, who wrote the report, also pointed out that bars, restaurants and hotels across the country had led to:
- €4.3 billion worth of inputs purchased
- A wages and salary bill of €2 billion
- Gross value added of €2.682 billion; €738 million from bars, €904 million from restaurant enterprises and €1 billion from hotels.
“This latest data from the CSO confirms the economic impact of our bars, restaurants and hotels,” commented Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of DIGI member the Restaurants Association of Ireland,
“Despite this, the industry has been hit with punitive excise increases in the last two Budgets and we’d call on the Government to take immediate action by reversing excise on alcohol in next week’s Budget.”
He pointed out that, “A group of customers in a restaurant are paying 34.5% in excise and VAT on a €22.95 bottle of wine. If excise was reversed it would encourage more people to socialise in bars and restaurants rather than at home and it would bring life to towns and cities across the country with obvious direct tax benefits to the Exchequer.
“We would urge the Government to stop hitting an industry that’s vital for the lifeblood of the economy; reverse excise, create jobs.”
Tony Foley noted that the CSO’s recently-published 2012 Annual Services Inquiry is the most comprehensive data source on the drinks-related elements of the hospitality sector, with its contents meriting examination in the context of the economic role of bars, restaurants and hotels and the policy approaches needed.
In the context of this report the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland has also welcomed calls from Fine Gael TD Michael Creed for a ban on below-cost selling, stating that it would drive people away from cheap alcohol to a more controlled environment in the pubs, restaurants and hotels across the country, with a positive knock-on effect to the economy.