The alcohol industry in the South East has made a massive contribution to the local economy according to the Alcohol Beverage Federation of Ireland (ABFI).
ABFI is the representative group for drinks manufacturers and suppliers and has said that certain measures contained in the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill that the Government is planning to introduce will negatively impact jobs and businesses across Ireland.
The drinks and hospitality sector supports almost 22,000 jobs in the South-East, with a wage bill of €364 million.
The South East is home to Walsh Whiskey and the Carlow Brewing Company. Walsh Whiskey employ 55 people and are planning to attract 75,000 visitors each year. The Carlow Brewing Company produces a range of craft beers sold in over 150 pubs in 25 countries.
Patricia Callan, Director of ABFI said: While the drinks industry fully supports measures to target alcohol misuse and underage drinking, it is important that these measures are targeted, proportionate and proven to work. Given the considerable economic contribution of the drinks industry to the South East's economy, it is concerning that the Government is planning to introduce the bill as it includes measures that are not targeted or evidence-based. This means that they are unlikely to be effective in reducing alcohol misuse - yet will have unintended negative consequences on jobs and businesses.'