Beer excise hike will hurt farmers, the hospitality sector and will cost jobs

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

15 October 2013 – The Irish Brewers Association today said it was severely disappointed at the Government’s decision to increase excise duty on a pint of beer and cider by 10 cent. This 18% increase will not only leave people paying more in Irish pubs than in almost every other European country, but it will also cost jobs in the wider agriculture sector. It means that excise on beer and cider has now increased by 43% in the last two years. Irish beer drinkers now pay the third highest and cider drinkers pay the second highest rate of taxes on their pint in the EU. Recent EU studies showed Irish alcohol prices as being the second highest in Europe.
The Irish Brewers Association said that today’s excise increase means that that consumers are now paying an additional 25 cent in tax on each pint sold in an Irish pub, when compared with December of 2011. This is made up of an additional 5 cent in VAT on top of the two increases of 10 cent in excise announced by the Government in the last two Budgets.

Ireland’s brewing sector provides more than €870 million per annum in revenue for the State with a further €400m invested in the production, marketing, export and retail of beer.

The Chairman of the IBA, David Smith, commented: “The decision to increase excise on beer and cider by 43% over the last two years is extremely disappointing. The Irish brewing industry currently purchases over 170,000 tonnes of malted barley and 46,000 tonnes of apples from Irish farmers each year for use in the brewing of beer and cider. This in turn supports over 2,500 farming families all over Ireland making it one of the most important sectors within the drinks industry in terms of indigenous manufacturing.

“At a time when domestic beer and cider consumption is falling (14% in last 5 years), we estimate that this draconian increase in excise, will put serious pressure on the Irish beer and cider industries and their suppliers. In short it will kill jobs.”

“While Irish beer and cider products continue to perform strongly internationally, high domestic excise rates send the wrong message to important export markets.”

“Government is putting further unnecessary pressure on our sector and its suppliers at a time when it should be offering every support possible.”


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*The Irish Brewers Association was established in 1904, and is the representative voice for the brewing industry in Ireland. Today over 85% of all beer sold in Ireland is manufactured or distributed by members of the association. Its mission is to proudly promote the business interests of the Irish brewing sector by ensuring that the economic value of the industry is clearly understood. It is committed to ensuring that the natural and social nature of our products is appreciated by our consumers as part of a moderate and healthy lifestyle.