Budget Reaction: Excise Increases Will Kill Fragile Jobs
The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) has expressed extreme disappointment at the decision of the Government to increase excise on beer, wine and spirits in today's Budget 2014 announcement, and has stated that it will have a negative impact on jobs in the sector.
The Chairman of DIGI, Peter O'Brien said: 'The decision to increase indirect taxes through huge excise increases is short-sighted and will damage employment in the drinks and hospitality sectors. The penal excise increases announced today, on top of those introduced last year, will increase the burden on pubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, and independent off-licences and will put more jobs, businesses and livelihoods at risk. This directly contradicts the Minister's stated aim to support job creation and small business.
'Furthermore, we predict that the government will fail to meet its targets from these taxes, as in addition to impacting negatively on consumer confidence, and discouraging the Irish public and visitors to spend money in the wider hospitality sector, we are also likely to see a rise in illegal alcohol trade and cross-border shopping.
'Government policy is to encourage domestic industry and promote exports, however today's measures will negatively impact on Irish drinks exports whose success is built on a solid domestic base.
'Government policy is to encourage tourism, however today's measures will damage a key sector of the Irish tourism offer, driving up prices and further damaging the pub.
'Government policy is to support jobs and employment creation, however today's measures will further decimate fragile jobs in a struggling sector. Employment in the sector has fallen by 8,000 in the last five years. Since 2008, between 2007 and 2012 almost 1,000 pubs have shut their doors and independent off- licence businesses are also in a very weak economic position with closures, declining sales and reducing employment.
'The indirect taxes announced by the government today are short-sighted and will be very damaging.'