“Ireland’s excise regime both stifles employment levels and actively threatens border communities and the independent specialist off-licences operating within them,” stated NOffLA spokesperson Jimmy Redmond speaking before an Oireachtas Committee on Jobs recently, “Excise duty requires immediate, upfront funding from midnight on Budget Day, with the uncertainty surrounding its fluctuation from year-to-year preventing medium- to long-term business planning in terms of job creation”.
NOffLA estimates that a reduction in excise duty could lead to the creation of 1,786 jobs throughout the country.
Highlighting the means through which supermarkets absorb tax increases Jimmy Redmond noted that, “According to research from the University of Sheffield, UK Supermarkets under-shift price rises on selected alcohol products in response to tax increases, accounting for as much as 68% of their total alcohol sales in some categories ie they absorb the increase of a tax to maintain the low prices on their cheapest alcohol for consumers”.
He added that the practice of below-invoice-cost selling “is likely to impact negatively on tax policy effectiveness because high-risk groups favour cheaper alcohol and under-shifting is likely to produce smaller consumption reductions”.
NOffLA has therefore called for a ban on below-invoice-cost selling, to rebalance the marketplace, positively impact public health initiatives and save the exchequer some €24 million per annum, considering retailers are permitted to reclaim VAT on losses.
He also reinforced NOffLA’s wholehearted support of the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill.