The Irish drinks and hospitality industry have appealed to the government to cut the excise duty currently placed on alcohol.
The call is being made by the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (Digi) as part of their Support Your Local campaign. Bart Storan the campaigns manager has claimed that such a move would not benefit multinational drinks companies exponentially from an excise, but pubs would, stating that Digi is the umbrella organisation for the drinks industry.
Mr Storan said: “Since 2011 tax increases have directly added 28 cent to the price of a pint. It’s a huge margin that gets added at a time when publicans are struggling. Excise is a big driver of a shift to the off licence, and we’re trying to reverse that trend and bring people into pubs around the country.” However Mr Storan stated that the campaign’s motive was not to make more people drink alcohol but to drink in pubs, restaurants and hotels instead. Storan went onto say: “Overall consumption of alcohol has dropped in Ireland by around 25 per cent since 2001, so there are a myriad of factors contributing to alcohol-related harm in this country. A big part of it is the shift to the off licence away from the pub.”
Although Mr Storan welcomed the decision to introduce a minimum unit pricing on alcohol, stating:“The availability of alcohol in supermarkets that’s cheaper than water is a huge problem for health policy in Ireland, so we will work with the Government to make sure it’s implemented as soon as possible.”