IRELAND: Drinks industry holds breath ahead of Budget
Ireland's alcoholic drinks industry is braced for further tax rises in the Government's annual Budget, set to be announced tomorrow (7 April).
Drinks industry leaders anticipate a "hit" in tomorrow's Budget statement, but are hopeful that ministers will hold back on hammering the alcohol sector, for fear of causing further job losses and driving more consumers out of the Republic and into Northern Ireland, where drink is cheaper.
The Irish Government is arguably facing its toughest Budget since the founding of the Republic in 1949. Ireland's Gross Domestic Product shrank by 2.3% last year, its worst performance since records began in 1947, while investment consultancy Standard & Poor's last week downgraded Ireland's credit rating.
S&P predicted that the country's national debt could soar in the next few years. The drinks industry fears that it will become a target for ministers keen to cut the deficit.
Kieran Tobin, chairman of the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI), told just-drinks today (6 April) that it would be "near suicidal" for the Government to "hit the industry hard".
He said: "If they do that, it will hit consumption futher and prompt more consumers to go to the north."
DIGI said last month that 2008 was the worst year in more than a quarter of century for Ireland's alcohol industry, with total consumption down 6%. Up to 9,000 jobs, roughly around one in ten industry workers, could be lost in 2009, the trade body believes.
Growing numbers of consumers are abandoning retailers in the north of the Republic to take advantage of cheaper drinks in Northern Ireland.
The difference in value added tax between the Republic (21.5%) and Northern Ireland (15%), which comes under the jurisdiction of the UK Treasury, is fuelling the growth in cross-border shopping, according to Tobin.
The future looks bright for wines with a lower alcohol content in the UK, if only someone could decide on what to call them....
Minimum pricing for alcohol is dividing both the drinks trade and the politicians, but last week's damning response from the Office of Fair Trading could mean the policy never sees the light of day....
The call last week by the British Medical Association (BMA) for an outright ban on alcohol advertising appeared to have little support in political circles or the media. Most crucially for the industr...
Russia's Government is pressing ahead with its proposal to triple tax on beer from the start of 2010, according to Carlsberg, in a move that analysts believe could significantly damage brewers' profit...
The top ten stories published on just-drinks this week:...
Pernod Ricard has launched a new campaign for its Campo Viejo wine brand in the UK, adding weight to company claims that the Spanish wine brand is not for sale....
A major counterfeit vodka manufacturing and bottling plant has been dismantled in Leicestershire, UK, following raids by HM Revenue & Customs officers....
Akvinta Vodka is to be sold by independent London wine retailer Jeroboams, as the brand continues to expand its presence in the UK....
- What do A-B InBev results mean for SABMiller deal?
- Interview - Beam Suntory's EMEA president
- Interview - William Grant & Sons
- Beckham, Diageo and the Allure of the VIP Pop-Up
- just The Preview - Brown-Forman Q3 & YTD
- Diageo, Beckham launch VIP pop-up for Haig Club
- Diageo completes Don Julio, Bushmills swap deal
- Pinnacle Vodka, Skinnygirl roll out on ice
- Pernod Ricard sends Martell Mumm PJ head to Asia
- Tesco reinstates Dan Jago following suspension
- Global non-Scotch whiskies insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research
- Wine, 2014 and the future
- Spirits and RTDs, 2014 and the future
- Beam Suntory Inc. - Strategy and SWOT Report
- Global RTD/RTS insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research