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

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