Sunday 22 January 2017

Vintners' Federation calls for 'emergency' excise tax to be reversed in the Budget

Published 28/09/2016 | 02:30

Enda O’Coineen, president, Irish Pubs Global Federation; Senator Billy Lawless; and Brian Gallagher, senior manager, AIB Corporate Banking, at the Irish Pubs Global Federation gathering in the Citywest Hotel yesterday. Photo: Lensmen
Enda O’Coineen, president, Irish Pubs Global Federation; Senator Billy Lawless; and Brian Gallagher, senior manager, AIB Corporate Banking, at the Irish Pubs Global Federation gathering in the Citywest Hotel yesterday. Photo: Lensmen

The Vintners' Federation of Ireland has called on the Government to reduce the excise duty on alcohol by 15pc in a move that would cost the State €170m per year.

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The VFI wants the Government to undo tax increases it blames for a 39c rise in the price of an average pint.

The call was made in the federation's pre-Budget submission, which has been seen by the Irish Independent.

The VFI wants an excise increase in the 2013 Budget reversed.

"That was an emergency tax brought in at the time and we're now told that the emergency is over so it's time to move on," VFI chief executive Padraig Cribben said yesterday.

The submission also outlines its support for retaining the 9pc VAT rate for the hospitality sector introduced by the Government to stimulate tourism, claiming that in the five years since the measure was brought in over 45,000 jobs had been created in the hospitality sector.

"Over 32,000 of those are outside of the Dublin area. There's still a lot of challenges outside of Dublin in rural towns and in some of the cities as well," Mr Cribben said.

That view contrasts with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, which this week called for the abolition of the special VAT rate, saying it had "done nothing for workers in the sector, which is still characterised by low pay and precarious work".

The excise duty on an average pint with a strength of 4.3pc adds up to around 55c in the duty, with another 5c to 10c in VAT.

Meanwhile, the Irish Pubs Global Federation held its annual awards last night in Dublin's Citywest Hotel.

The Irish Village in Dubai won the award for Irish Pub of the Year while An Púcán in Galway was named Best Irish Pub at home.

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to the late publican Oliver Hughes, co-founder of the Porterhouse group and owner of both Lillie's Bordello and the Dingle Whiskey Distillery.

McGettigan's, Abu Dhabi, won the award for Best International Irish Pub Food, while The Old Spot Gastropub in Dublin won the award for Best Irish Pub Food at home.

Other winners included Kevin Barry's Pub in Savannah, Georgia, which won the prize for Best Authentic Irish Pub.

Irish Independent

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