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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 225 - Tax code [24691/16].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 225 - Tax code [24691/16]. (16 Sep 2016)


225. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he will amend the excise and licensing regime for cider, including removing the upper excise band for cider sales and distribution; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24691/16]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): EU Directive 92/83/EEC sets out the structure of the taxation of cider and perry.  The tax is based on the bands of alcohol content of the product not the alcohol by volume (ABV) as is the case with beer.  As a result excise on cider must be applied in a series of bands.  The bands and rates applicable in Ireland are set out in a table.

Cider & Perry

 

Still and sparkling, not exceeding 2.8% volume

€47.23 per hectolitre

Still and sparkling, exceeding 2.8% volume but not exceeding 6% volume

€94.46 per hectolitre

Still and sparkling, exceeding 6.0% volume but not exceeding 8.5% volume

€218.44 per hectolitre

Still, exceeding 8.5% volume

€309.84 per hectolitre

Sparkling, exceeding 8.5% volume

€619.70 per hectolitre

  The rationale behind these bands is that similar, substitutable alcohol products will have the similar levels of excise on the same volume of consumption. Therefore, under the current system a pint of cider and a pint of beer have an equivalent excise rate of €0.54.   I understand that the Deputy is requesting that the band between 6.0% and 8.5% be removed so that there is one band from 2.8% to 8.5% at rate of €94.46 per hectolitre. If this band was removed, cider with a strength of 8.5% would only attract excise of €0.54 a pint, while beer of a similar strength would be charged double that amount, €1.09 per pint.  As well as failing to account for the negative health externalities caused by consumption of the products with a higher alcohol content, the price differential would offer an unfair competitive advantage to cider over beer.   It is recognised however that taxation of cider does not have an ideal structure.  I would inform the Deputy that the European Commission intends to review the Alcohol Tax Products Directive with a view to making any necessary amendments in 2017. My officials will engage will this review with the intention of securing similar alcohol taxation structures for similar and substitutable alcohol products.

Item Type
Dail Debates
Publication Type
Irish-related
Drug Type
Alcohol
Intervention Type
Policy
Date
16 September 2016
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