Thursday, December 6, 2012

Government decision to increase excise on wine will drive out of State retailing - NOffLA

PRESS RELEASE -5 December 2012

The National Off-Licence Association NOffLA has today (5 December) expressed its deep disappointment over the Government’s decision to increase excise duty on wine and has highlighted its fear for the survival of the independent off-licence sector.

Speaking about the increase in excise duty on wine, Chairperson of NOffLA, Evelyn Jones, said, “This is a disappointing and irresponsible decision that will do nothing more than drive out of state retailing. The excise duty on wine was increased in 2008 and the only thing that it achieved was to increase the flow of cross border shopping. Wine sales this year have already dropped by 4 percent and we can expect this figure to drop even further on the back of today’s announcement.

“This increase will also have a detrimental impact on independent off-licences and on the alcohol retail sector as a whole because it will drive people to purchase their alcohol across the border. We will see business closures because of this increase.
“Fortunately for Irish consumers, this increase will not lead to alcohol price hikes in independent off-licences as retailers have already bought in their pre-Christmas trading stock. Hopefully this measure will go some way to stemming the flow of cross border pre-Christmas trading."

“Large multiple retailers are more than capable of absorbing increases as they can engage in below cost selling practices but for already fragile and vulnerable independent off-licences, this puts them under even more pressure."
According to Jones, “Alcohol taxes in this country are high enough and are currently amongst the highest in Europe. We currently have the highest level for sparkling wine and the third highest rate for wine in the whole of Europe.”

NOffLA, which represents 315 independent community-based specialist off-licences across Ireland, has witnessed 75 business closures in the last four years. Based on the current rate of closures, NOffLA expects a further
25-30 businesses to cease trading in 2013.

For further information:
Karen White – Hume Brophy on behalf of NOffLA –
086 771 3326

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


The RRAI (mixed traders) are calling on Minister Shatter to enact the Miscellaneous Provisions Bill (Codes of Practice in regard to the sale of alcohol) in order to ensure that mixed traders comply with the RRAI voluntary Code, because if they do not they are afraid that, the Minister for Justice will sign in Section 9. This means that mixed traders would have to structurally separate their off licences from their grocery etc.

However the RRAI are now seeking to use the acceptance of Codes of Practice as a means to draw specialist alcohol retailers into this , by advocating the removal of the display and merchandising of products in the windows of specialist shops, holding a licence to sell alcohol.
Do they not recognize that:
• Independent specialist outlets display alcohol because that is the only product.they sell.

Will we have to black out our windows? Will our customers be required to wear rain macs?!

A universal code will apply to pubs as well and I can`t see that being taken lightly by them either!

Noffla would ask its mixed trader members to consider the following points and to bring it to the attention to the RRAI management that:

• they got a serious get out of jail card when the minister did not sign in section 9
• it is their own voluntary Code that prohibits the display or merchandising of alcoholic products in their windows .
• if mixed traders are not happy with this part of their voluntary code then remove it.
• this was not imposed on them by the Independent specialist sector and they now seek to impose it on us?
•this is not a Independent specialist sector issue and that it is their own code that is flawed.
•Independent specialists were legislated for in 2008.
•Independent specialists did not get an option to voluntarily enforce 10pm closing at that time.

So lets be clear here. The RRAI have TOLD the Minister in its compliance report that it
that relevant aspects of an approved Code of compliance under the proposed legislation would apply to these off-licences.”

that due to this chaos Minister Shatter will be forced to implement section 9 which will ultimately prove expensive for the smaller players in the grocery trade, but that will suit the retail giants just dandy as there will be less competition for them.

Politics are local! So all members need to get busy talking to their government representatives on this matter.It`s your livelihood!

Evelyn Jones
Noffla Chairperson

See excerpt from the latest RRAI report written by Mr Padraic White "Independent" Chairperson.

7.3 Promotion and Merchandising of Alcohol Products
by Stand-Alone Off-Licences

As indicated in my First Compliance Report, the RRAI members regard the exclusion of stand-alone off-licences from compliance with an agreed Code as an increasingly apparent anomaly. They have pointed to the fact that, while the Code prohibits the display or merchandising of alcoholic products in the window of mixed trader’s premises, there is no such restriction on stand-alone off-licence stores.

The RRAI expects that relevant aspects of an approved Code of compliance under the proposed legislation would apply to these off-licences.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Response on behalf of An Taoiseach Mr. Enda Kenny

29 April 2011

Dear Ms. Jones,

The Taoiseach, Mr. Enda Kenny T.D. has asked me to refer to your recent letter.

The Taoiseach has carefully noted the issues you have raised and he appreciates you taking the time and trouble to share your views with him.

The Taoiseach has asked me to pass on his best wishes to you.

Yours sincerely,
David King
Assistant Private Secretary to the Taoiseach

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Response Peter Mathews TD, Fine Gael, Dublin South

14th April 2011

Dear Evelyn,

Thank you for your letter and please accept my apologies for the delay in replying. It took longer than expected to be allocated an office in Leinster House and I am only now catching up on a backlog of correspondence.

I read your letter with interest and I have raised this issue with the Minister for Finance by way of Parliamentary Question. Please find enclosed the response I received.

The Minister does not commit to reviewing this proposal. However, i will personally hand your letter to the Minister to ensure that the points you have raised are brought to his direct attention.

Please do not hesitate to contact me again if I can be of help on any local or national issue.

Dail Question No. 106
To ask the Minister for Finance his plans to revisit suggestions that the excise duty on wine will be increased because many jobs have already been lost in the off-licensce industry as a result of earlier closing times, cross borders shopping and the economic downturn; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Finance ( Mr. Noonan)
As the Deputy will be aware , taxes are considered in the context of the Budget process. It is the usual practice for the Minister for Finance not to speculate in advance of a Budget on what it will contain; and I do not propose to deviate from that practice.

Response Michael NoonanTD, Minister for Finance

21 April 2011

Dear Ms. Jones,

The Minister for Finance, Mr. Michael Noonan TD, has asked me to thank you for your letter of 8 March 2011 in relation to concerns for the Off-Licence trade, and for your good wishes.

The concerns expressed in your letter will be considered in the context of any deliberations in advance of the next Budget.

Yours sincerely,
Sean Kinsella
Private Secretary to the Minister for Finance

Monday, March 21, 2011

Response on behalf of Eamon Gilmore,An Tanaiste and Labour Party Leader

March 16, 2011
Dear Ms Jones,

Thank you for your recent correspondence to Eamon Gilmore TD, Leader of the Labour Party and your congratulations and good wishes.  Eamon has asked me to reply on his behalf.
As you will know since the election we have agreed to form a Government with Fine Gael.

That Government is based on an agreed programme that we hope will bring the country great benefit.  I enclose a copy of that programme for your information which deals with some of the issuesyou raise.  We hope that Labour does make a difference for Ireland. That is what being in Government is all about.  Together we will make Ireland the best place for all and look forward to working with you.
Please keep in touch.
Yours sincerely,
Dermot Lacey

Response Fine Gael TD Tom Barry, Cork

March 16th, 2011
Dear Ms. Jones,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your congratulations and to assure
you that I look forward to working with you and your organisation in the coming months
and years.
If I can be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact my office.
Yours sincerely,
Deputy Tom Barry