Irish drinkers pay the second highest tax on a pint of beer in Europe

Ireland has the second-highest rate of excise duty on drinks compared to the rest of the EU member states and the UK, according to a new report.

The new Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) report by Dublin City University economist Anthony Foley shows that Ireland has the highest excise duty on wine, second highest on beer and third highest on spirits.

The report released today compares Ireland’s excise duty rates to those of the UK and 27 of its EU counterparts.

In Spain, the excise duty on a bottle of whiskey is €2.69, while in Ireland, where it is produced in an Irish distillery, it is €11.92.

The results also show that 15 EU countries do not levy an excise tax on wine.

The excise duty per half glass of spirit ranges from €0.69 in Finland and Sweden to €0.08 in Bulgaria, with 15 countries charging an excise duty of less than €0.20.

In Ireland, the level is €0.60. A tax of 0.54 cents is levied on a pint of Irish stout served in a pub, restaurant or hotel.

Irish excise duty per pint of beer is €0.55, compared to 21 EU countries which have a beer tax per pint of less than €0.20. In Germany it is only 0.05 cents.

In France, a country equally known for its beverage industry, excise rates on wine are much lower. The tax on a glass of wine is 0.80 cents in Ireland and 0.01 cents in France.

The DIGI has asked the government to cut the consumption tax rate by 7.5 percent in the 2023 budget.

It was to be the “start of an annual excise reduction program to gradually bring Irish excise duty on drinks in line with the much lower EU level in the 2023 and 2024 budget”.

The chairman of DIGI and director of communications and corporate affairs at Irish Distillers said Ireland’s high excise duty is a “concern” for consumers and hospitality businesses as they face a “worsening cost of living crisis”.

Kathryn D’Arcy said, “As production costs rise for beverage manufacturers and consumers’ disposable income also decreases, we will see a downward shift in consumer demand, which will pose another challenge to the longer-term sustainability of the hospitality sector.”

“Such high tax rates reduce the competitiveness of the Irish market in attracting tourists to Ireland and impose unreasonable costs on the hospitality industry and consumers.

“We are calling on the government to reduce the consumption tax rate by 15 per cent over two years, 7.5 per cent in 2023 and 7.5 per cent in 2024 to help the hospitality industry reduce its cost burden and reduce the Reduce the cost of living for consumers.

“As energy costs and other input costs increase, we need to offset those costs by cutting taxes and tariffs like excise duties that could be implemented overnight.”

Professor Foley added: “The data once again clearly show the very high alcohol tax rates in Ireland compared to our EU peers, which of course is a relatively heavy burden for the Irish beverage industry and consumers compared to other EU members.” Irish drinkers pay the second highest tax on a pint of beer in Europe

Fry Electronics Team

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