Irish consumers pay more tax on a pint of beer than 25 EU countries and the UK 1 year ago

Irish consumers pay more tax on a pint of beer than 25 EU countries and the UK

Amongst the countries in the study, Ireland has the second highest excise tax on beer.

A new report shows that Irish punters pay more tax on a pint of beer than 25 European Union countries and the United Kingdom.


Launched on Thursday (8 August), the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) publication compares Ireland’s excise rates against their EU counterparts and the UK.

According to the report, Ireland continues to have the second-highest overall excise tax on drinks in the EU and UK, the highest excise tax on wine, the second highest on beer and the third highest on spirits.

The Irish level of excise per pint of beer is €0.55, compared to 21 EU countries where it is less than €0.20.

In Germany, it is just €0.05, while the only European Union country with a higher excise tax on beer than Ireland is Finland.


Meanwhile, the Irish government also levies a tax bill of almost €12 on a bottle of off-licence-bought Irish whiskey produced in an Irish distillery.

In comparison, the tax on the same bottle in Spain is only €2.69.

On top of this, the excise per half glass of spirits in Ireland is €0.60.

Throughout the EU, it ranges from €0.69 in Finland and Sweden to €0.08 in Bulgaria, with 15 countries imposing an excise tax of less than €0.20.


DIGI has said that Ireland’s excise rates represent another high business cost for the hospitality sector and Irish consumers at a very challenging time.

The group has called on the Government to reduce the excise tax rate in Budget 2023 by 7.5%.

It also said that this should be the start of a programme of annual excise reductions to gradually bring Irish drinks excise tax in line with the much lower EU levels across Budget 2023 and 2024.

“The high level of excise duty levied on spirits, wine and beer spirits is a concern for consumers and hospitality businesses as they face into a deepening cost-of-living crisis," DIGI Chair Kathryn D’Arcy stated.


"As the costs of production for drinks producers are rising and consumers’ disposable income is also diminishing, we will see a downward shift in demand among consumers which will pose another challenge to the longer-term sustainability of the hospitality sector.

"Such high tax rates decrease the competitiveness of the Irish market when seeking to entice tourists to Ireland and inflict an undue cost on hospitality businesses and consumers.

“We are calling on the Government to reduce the excise rate by 15% across a two-year period - 7.5% in 2023 and 7.5% in 2024 - to help support the hospitality sector reduce its cost-burden and to ease the cost of living for consumers.

"As energy costs and other input costs rise, we need to offset these costs through a reduction of taxes and tariffs such as excise duty which could be implemented overnight.”