So explained VFI Chief Executive Padrig Cribben at a recent meeting of the Joint Committee which was discussing ‘Growth and Job Creation in Town and Village Centres’.
“There is no one item that can be blamed for all of our ills, however the fact that 80% of the increase in the cost of a pint in a pub since 2011 has been directly caused by taxation increases, doesn’t help,” he explained.
The VFI Chief Executive formed part of a Drinks Industry Group of Ireland delegation to the hearing and it argued that excise increases over successive budgets have cost small businesses jobs, made our tourism offering less competitive and punished the hard-pressed Irish consumer.
Pointing out that between December 2012 and October 2013, the Government had increased excise on beer by 44%, excise on spirits by 37% and excise on wine by 62%, the DIGI warned that excise increases in successive budgets have cost small businesses jobs as pubs, once a centrepiece of rural life, are being forced to close in large numbers – since 2000, over 1,000 pubs throughout Ireland have been forced to close.
Also speaking to the committee was LVA Chief Executive Dónall O’Keeffe who told them, ‘Through taxes on drink, pub-goers have made a disproportionate contribution to the public finances.
“The Government must now acknowledge the critical economic role played by the pub industry and give it the help it both needs and deserves.”
The DIGI represents publicans, independent off-licences, restaurants, hotels and suppliers.