With just days to go before Budget 2010, Alcohol Action Ireland, the national charity for alcohol-related issues, has revealed that Irish adults would prefer an increase in excise duty on alcohol above increases in income tax, tax on petrol and cuts in child benefit.
Renewing her call for the Government to take simple and cost-effective measures to reduce the high levels of alcohol-related harms and costs, Acting Director Ms Murphy said: “Recently commissioned research[i] from Alcohol Action Ireland has highlighted public support for increasing excise duty on alcohol.”
“A modest 10 cent increase will raise an estimated €140m in much needed revenue and yet excise duty on alcohol has been increased just three times in the last 15 years[ii]. When cuts in essential services are on the table, why is something as simple as a 10 cent increase in alcohol excise not up for consideration?”
“In our Pre-Budget Submission, Alcohol Action Ireland proposed an increase in excise duty on alcohol by a modest 10 cent along with the implementation of a €1 minimum price per unit of alcohol.”
Ms Murphy added: “A minimum price of €1 per unit of alcohol will save millions by reducing the cost of our alcohol use on our health, social and policing services with immediate effect. It will primarily affect heavy drinkers, along with young people and children who are more likely to consume low-cost alcohol. Minimum pricing is not likely to have any impact on moderate drinkers, who drink within low risk weekly limits.”
“Our high levels of alcohol use costs us, both in economic and human terms. Budget 2010 gives the Government an opportunity to cut these harms and costs, by introducing these measures. Increasing excise on alcohol and introducing minimum pricing are effective policy measures that will protect both our economy and our health,” concluded Ms Murphy.//ENDS//
For more information please contact:
Jo Fox, Communications Officer on 087 995 0186
Cliona Murphy, Acting Director on 087 219 5723
[i] Alcohol Action Ireland commissioned Behaviour and Attitudes to conduct market research establishing public preferences on taxation increases and benefit cuts in November 2009. An increase in tax on alcohol is the second most desirable option to adults generally and to drinkers alike (Desirability of options provided: increase tax on cigarettes, alcohol, petrol, income, cut children’s allowance, cut old age pension)
[ii] In the past 15 years, there have only been three increases in excise duty – cider (2001), spirits (2002) and wine (October 2008), the last excise duty increase on beer was in 1994.