Tuesday 22 August 2017

Shambolic alcohol bill needs pouring down the sink

The changes will take excise revenue out of State coffers and instead hand it to retailers in the drinks trade

CHEERS: Retailers are expected to benefit to the tune of €78m per annum if the bill goes through
CHEERS: Retailers are expected to benefit to the tune of €78m per annum if the bill goes through

Sean Barrett

The success of government backbenchers last Thursday in delaying the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill until next year deserves support and comes as no surprise.

While denouncing the drinks trade, the promoters of the bill are enriching it by more than €78m a year. This has been known in Leinster House since December 16, 2015. The Oireachtas Library and Research Service digest on the bill estimated on page 32 that retailers "are expected to benefit €69m off trade" and €9.3m on trade per year.

Overall revenue to the Exchequer is estimated to reduce by €34.43m a year.

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