Hard Brexit would have 'recession-type' effect on drinks and hospitality industry

Hard Brexit would have 'recession-type' effect on drinks and hospitality industry

A new report claims that Brexit could cost the drinks and hospitality industry here €135m a year.

Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) says a hard Brexit could have a "recession-type" effect on communities that rely on the sector.

They are calling on the Government to reduce taxes on alcohol sales in the upcoming Budget.

The report claims that drinks exports to the UK have already decreased, dropping 11% in the first half of 2018 alone, compounding a 7% fall between 2015 and 2017.

It said that many Irish drinks products are dependent or heavily reliant on the British market. More than 70% of all cider exports and 43% of all beer exports are to the UK.

Rosemary Garth, Chairperson of DIGI and Director of Communications at Irish Distillers, said: “A hard Brexit will inevitably lead to reduced revenue, business closures and job losses. In some areas, where the industry is the primary employer, we are looking at the possibility of a recession-type effect, whereby entire communities suffer because of a drop in product exports or tourist numbers.

“To avoid this kind of scenario, the Government needs to make it as easy as possible for drinks and hospitality businesses to trade and grow. A hard Brexit alone is tough—a hard Brexit in a market with high excise tax is even tougher. High taxes mean more money is spent covering overheads before anything can be invested in productive outputs, like new premises, new products, or new staff.

“For smaller producers with limited product ranges, a bump up in excise can cost thousands of euros. That is enough to eat into their profit margins and potentially shutter them completely.

“As has so often occurred in this country’s history, when the UK sneezes, Ireland catches a cold. We are asking the Government to boost this industry’s immune system now by reducing excise tax on alcohol.”

- Digital Desk

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