The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI), has presented research to the Joint Oireachtas Committee of Finance claiming that excise hikes on alcohol has forced the closure of over 1,000 Irish pubs since 2007.
DIGI represents 92,000 employees in pubs, restaurants, hotels, independent off licences and drinks suppliers across the country and is now calling for a reversal of the hikes, saying they have “Made our tourism offering less competitive and has punished the hard pressed Irish consumer”.
Speaking to the Committee today, Padraig Cribben, CEO of the Vitners Federation of Ireland, who are members of DIGI said: “Excise damages our rural pubs and independent off licences. Since 2007 over 1,000 pubs throughout Ireland have been forced to close. The small pubs in rural communities cannot soak up excise increases across a wide product mix, like a supermarket can – they are forced to pass the increase on to consumers who often assume the publican is price gauging. 80% of the increase in the cost of a pint in the pub since 2011 has been directly caused by taxation.”
During the hearing, Mr. Cribben reiterated DIGI’s committment to tackling alcohol misuse and went on to say that excise “Does not reduce alcohol misuse”.