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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Questions - Value added tax [Alcohol].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Questions - Value added tax [Alcohol]. (21 Jul 2020)


Question: 210. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Finance if he is considering a campaign by alcohol producers to reduce the VAT rate for on-trade alcohol products in view of the serious health risks associated with increased alcohol consumption, alcohol-related harm and the debilitating impact of alcohol in society here. [17082/20]

Minister for Finance - As the Deputy will be aware, a wide range of submissions are received by Government Departments and all submissions received by the Department of Finance are considered by the relevant officials. Submissions related to tax may also be reviewed by officials in the Revenue Commissioners. 

The VAT Directive (2006/112/EC) was amended by Council Directive 2009/47/EC of 5 May 2009, allowing for Member States to provide for a reduced rate of VAT to alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks when supplied as part of a restaurant or catering service. 

The supply of alcohol and other drinks in a premise with an ‘on’ licence could be defined as constituting the supply of a restaurant or catering service where served in conjunction with a meal, in which case some supplies would attract the reduced rate, while others were liable at the standard rate. Defining and enforcing a workable distinction would be extremely difficult and there would be considerable risk of abuse and unfair competition. 

If the supply of all drinks in an ‘on’ premises was defined as the supply of a restaurant or catering service this would bring sales of alcohol in nightclubs and the like within the scope of the reduced rate, which would be contrary to our general public health policy on alcohol pricing and consumption and contrary to current public policy objectives on social distancing during the pandemic. If such a measure were implemented it would also give rise to different rates being applied to ‘on licence’ and ‘off licence’ sales by traders engaged in both; this would give rise to considerable scope for abuse and unfair competition on the part of non-compliant traders.


Item Type
Dail Debates
Publication Type
Drug Type
Intervention Type
21 July 2020

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