Kathryn D’Arcy new DIGI Chair
In her new role, Kathryn will prioritise the cost of doing business and the sustainability of the industry.
DIGI, the representative group for Ireland’s drinks and hospitality industry, is set to launch its 2022 campaign this week.
This seeks to highlight the importance of the drinks and hospitality industry to Ireland alongside measures to support the sector amid a cost-of-living and increased costs of doing business crisis.
The new campaign will focus on the strain the sector currently experiences as a result of increased costs while also seeking tangible and actionable policy supports to help it operate sustainably over the coming years.
Pre-pandemic, the drinks industry directly employed 92,000 people and the hospitality sector supported almost 210,000 jobs throughout Ireland, purchasing €1.1 billion-worth of Irish inputs annually and exporting €1.25 billion worth of produce every year.
The sector, including distillers, brewers, cider producers, pubs, restaurants, hotels and off-licences, supports and develops economic activity across the island of Ireland.
“The drinks and hospitality sector has sustained some of the toughest years in its history, with extensive closures and limitations on our ability to trade,” said Kathryn D’Arcy, “While the industry is optimistic in its outlook in a post-Covid world, it remains very cautious given the immediate and significant challenges in the period ahead.
“Inflation and the cost-of-living crisis are having a huge impact on society. Business owners are experiencing a perfect storm of increased operating costs and severe recruitment challenges while their own costs-of-living soar.
“As the industry remains in a state of post-Covid recovery – particularly in rural Ireland – and amid an uncertain and inflationary period and operating environment, we need to see tangible and actionable supports which are easily implemented.
“Central to this is introducing policy measures which can make both an immediate difference and a long-term impact in terms of delivering sustainable policy. DIGI is seeking a reduction in Ireland’s high excise tax rate which would deliver on this.
“Ireland currently has the second-highest overall excise tax in the EU behind only Finland. Reducing excise tax is a policy that can be introduced overnight with an immediate impact of reducing the costs of doing business for tens of thousands of business owners in the hospitality sector in Ireland.”