ALMOST a third of the retail price of every pint of beer goes to the Government in taxes, it has been claimed.
The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) warned that 2,000 more jobs will be lost if excise rates are not cut in this month’s budget.
And the body, which represents publicans in Dublin, also called for the 9pc VAT rate for the hospitality sector to be maintained.
Donall O’Keeffe, LVA chief, said that between 2008 and 2011, the number of people employed in the sector fell by a quarter.
“If these job losses were in the technology or pharma sector the red lights would be flashing and the Government would be rushing to their assistance,” Mr O’Keeffe said.
“If you want to create employment in this industry you cannot increase the excise rate on wine by 41pc and the rate on beer by 22pc which the Government did in the last Budget.
“If the Government does not reverse last year’s increases, it absolutely cannot contemplate a further increase.”
The LVA, which represents over 600 bars in Dublin employing some 10,000 people, says that while retail sales have fallen 12.5pc over the last six years, the pub trade has seen a fall of 33pc.
It said that 11pc of pubs nationally, or 923, have shut their doors.
In addition to reversing the increase in excise rates and maintaining the 9pc VAT rate, the LVA wants the Government to set up a task force to reverse the decline of the pub trade.
“Over 50,000 people work in the bar trade in Ireland. In Revenue terms the drinks industry raises almost €2bn in VAT and excise receipts,” he said.
“According to the Lonely Planet Guide, the pub is the number one attraction for tourists coming to this country.
“This shows the economic importance of the pub and drinks sector to the Irish economy.”