Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 136 - Tax code [alcohol] [27287/15].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 136 - Tax code [alcohol] [27287/15]. (07 Jul 2015)

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136. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Finance his views on introducing a social responsibility levy on drinks manufacturers, as recommended by the national substance misuse strategy group and the National Youth Council of Ireland; if he will consider this revenue raising measure as part of the upcoming budget; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27287/15]


Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): The Steering Group Report on a National Substance Misuse Strategy recommended a series of actions to deal with the harms caused by alcohol use and misuse, including the introduction of a social responsibility levy on the 'drinks industry' which the Report defined as some or all of those involved in the manufacturing, distribution and retailing of alcohol. The Deputy will be aware that the Minister for Health has primary responsibility for the implementation of the Strategy.


The Deputy has suggested that a social responsibility levy be introduced solely on the manufacturers of alcohol products. I understand that the policy objective of such a levy would be to impose a levy on the drinks industry commensurate with the damage to society caused by the abusive consumption of the products that industry produces. I believe that applying such a levy to drinks manufacturers alone would not achieve that objective, as the availability of cheap and below cost alcohol is not solely a matter for the manufacturers, but for certain retailers of alcohol products. In addition, any consideration of the introduction of such a levy would need to examine wider issues such as its impact on Ireland's export trade. In 2014, exports of alcohol products amounted to nearly €938 million.


All proposed changes to tax policy are considered in the context of the annual Budget and Finance Bill process.

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