Taxes on booze and fuel are left untouched by Noonan
IT SEEMS that the "old reliables" aren't so reliable anymore.
Drink and fuel prices - always a target for finance ministers seeking to balance the books - were left untouched.
But the Finance Minister was criticised in some circles for neither cutting the cost of booze nor reducing the cost of motoring following hikes during the recession.
There was praise for retaining the 9pc VAT for the hospitality sector. But Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe warned it "cannot be taken for granted" in years to come.
The Licensed Vintners Association, representing 600 Dublin publicans, said that while a reduction in excise rates was their preferred outcome, the status quo was preferable to a rise.
The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland said the decision not to decrease excise level was a missed opportunity - though it welcomed the upfront excise relief for micro-breweries.
The AA had argued that austerity-era taxes which increased the cost of motor fuel and insurance should have been reversed.
"A litre of petrol actually costs 44c," says director of consumer affairs, Conor Faughnan.
"Everything else - over 92 cent in the litre - is tax. This is excessive," he said.