Alcohol Action Ireland today (Tuesday 9th October) welcomed the decision by Mr Paschal Donohue, Minister for Finance, to retain the current rates of excise duty on alcohol products. This is the fifth year in a row that Excise duty has remained untouched in Budget calculations. The low inflation and modest wage growth in our economy suggests a modest increase could well have been sustained by the consumers of alcohol in a growing economy.
Commenting on the Budget, Eunan McKinney, Head of Communications and Advocacy, said:
In our Pre-Budget submission we urged the Minister to at least retain existing levels of duty on alcohol products. We are pleased that he has been able to resist the intensive lobbying of the alcohol industry, who had campaigned to have alcohol made even more affordable, despite the underlying data on our national alcohol consumption showing significant rises.
The elasticity of alcohol products is a clear; previous modest increases in alcohol duty have produce a level of reduction in consumption that is preferable. However, the retention of the existing duties now, coupled with the introduction of Minimum Unit Price, as established in the Public Health Alcohol Bill, can curb the availability of cheap, strong alcohol and push a downward trend in alcohol consumption in the years ahead.