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Excise increase on alcohol in Ireland will affect off-license sector, says NOffLA

DBR Staff Writer Published 16 October 2013

Ireland’s National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) has criticized the government’s decision to raise excise duty on alcohol saying that it would have a negative impact on the independent off-license sector.

NOffLA said it has seen 11 business closures and nearly 60 job cuts in the past eight months, and the government should regulate alcohol sector in order to eliminate further business closures and job losses.

Alcohol taxes in Ireland are currently among the highest in the continent, and after the 2013 Budget, Excise on wine was 576% above the EU average.

Speaking on the increase in excise duty, NOffLA chairperson Evelyn Jones said this is an extremely irresponsible decision by government which will put independent off-licenses under severe pressure, reignite out of state retailing and lead to another increase in illicit alcohol trading.

"The Lisbon Treaty clearly states that no EU country can impose internal taxes on imports which would afford indirect protection to other products - this is exactly what is happening in Ireland with wine."

"We call on Minister Alex White to bring forward his proposals to regulate the alcohol sector. Our sector hopes these measures will address the irresponsible sale and consumption of alcohol in Ireland," Jones said.