Ireland’s Beer Tax Second Highest In Europe

19 Jul 2018 | 12.31 pm

Ireland’s Beer Tax Second Highest In Europe

Beer consumption down 2.1% in 2017

19 Jul 2018 | 12.31 pm

BY CLAY FISHER

The rate of excise tax on beer in Ireland is the second highest in the European Union, according to a new report from the Irish Brewers Association.

The excise rate of €108.24 pre hectolitre of alcohol is second only to Finland and 8% higher than the UK. The excise rate in Spain in €9.96.

Beer is also subject to VAT. According to the IBA, 30% of the cost of pub pint goes to the government in tax, with excise of 55c and VAT of 91c.

Total beer consumption in Ireland declined by 2.1% in 2017, though on a per capita basis Ireland is among the top ten EU beer drinking countries. Average per capita consumption of 79 litres a year compares with 104 litres in Germany, 143 litres in Czech Republic, 67 litres in the UK and 31 litres in Italy.

The Irish Beer Market Report 2017 states that beer exports, by volume, rose marginally by 0.2% last year, with a value of €273 million. The report estimates craft beer output of 238,000 hectolitres in 2017, up 35% on the previous year.

Jonathan McDade, Head of the Irish Brewers Association, commented: “Beer is a significant economic and cultural asset in Ireland.  Beer drinkers in Ireland must endure the second highest rate of excise tax in the EU and so I call on the government to reduce the rate of excise on beer in Budget 2019.”

Beer producers are concerned that the labelling measures in the Public Health Bill, specifically the requirement to add cancer warning labels to alcohol products, could impact future growth, McDade called on the government to make reasonable amendments to the legislation.

“It is a disproportionate measure that represents a barrier to trade in the EU amidst Brexit uncertainty,” said McDade. “We believe the objectives of the Alcohol Bill could be achieved through more effective and less trade restrictive means, which would tackle the issue of alcohol misuse and would not unnecessarily damage this industry.”

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