Brewers call for reduction in alcohol excise as beer market falls

The Irish Brewers Association (IBA) has released new figures showing that the Irish beer market has declined by 3% in the year to date.

The Irish Brewers Association (IBA) has released new figures showing that the Irish beer market has declined by 3% in the year to date.

The association said that an excise reduction of 10% on beer is required in the upcoming Budget to boost beer sales, promote the Irish pub, and help Irish tourism.

The IBA said that despite this decline in market share, the beer sector continues to contribute significantly to the Irish economy.

They said the market creates 45,000 jobs in the brewing, distribution and sale of beer, and more than €1bn in revenue is generated for the State from beer sales.

The IBA said that this contribution was highlighted in a new pan-European report by Ernst and Young/Brewers of Europe, "The Contribution made by Beer to the European Economy".

The report showed that direct employment in the Irish brewing sector is 1,441 jobs. Employment in supplying sectors arising from beer production and sales is estimated at 5,880 jobs.

The induced employment in hospitality is around 35,700 jobs while a little over 1,500 jobs in the retail sector can be attributed to beer sales. Total employment in Ireland due to beer production and sales is thus 44,540 jobs.

The report also said that Ireland has one of the highest excise duty rates on beer in Europe. Government revenues are estimated to be €1.1bn comprising €320m excise, €524m VAT and €290m in income-related contributions and taxes.

Stephen Lynam, Senior Executive of the IBA, said: "As this report shows, beer is the single most important product, accounting for approximately half of all alcohol sold in Ireland. This means that the sale of beer is vital to sustaining Ireland’s pubs and wider hospitality sector which continue to be central to the economy and overall employment levels.

"In the tough economic climate, it is important to boost this sector in line with the Government’s reduction in the lower rate of VAT earlier this year.

"To support this, the Irish Brewers Association is a calling for a 10% reduction in excise duty on beer that will help boost the sector and sustain jobs at a time when the market is declining. We look forward to engaging with the Government on this in advance of the December Budget."

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