A bottle of wine attracts €3.19 in excise duty in the Republic, the highest rate in the EU. It is not much better in the UK, where excise is €2.85. Finland is in third with an excise rate of €2.55. Sweden is on €2.03 and Denmark, at €1.17, round out the top five duty spots.
If you leave price aside for a moment and focus on quality, the news is even grimmer. Excise applies at a flat rate and is not linked to the cost of a product. The net result of recent tax hikes means that the actual cost of the wine in a €10 bottle is just 50 cent, with the other €9.50 being swallowed up in packaging, distribution costs and tax. It is even worse when it comes to sparkling wine, which attracts double the rate of excise as its flat cousins for reasons best known to the mandarins in the Department of Finance.
Excise on wine is 106 times higher in Ireland than France.
Excise on a standard bottle on wine in France: €0.03
Excise on a standard bottle of wine in Ireland: €3.19
Excise is the #1 threat to Irish wine importers, distributors and independent off-licences
Cost of importing 1,000 cases of wine up €18,000 since 2012
56% of independent off-licences could take on more staff if excise was reversed.
Excise tax on a 750ml standard bottle of wine:
· Ireland: €3.19
· France: €0.03
· Holland: €0.66
· Belgium: €0.43
In Ireland there has been a tax hike of 62% or €1.50 on the average bottle of wine in less than 12 months, between December 2012 and October 2013, meaning that we now have the highest excise on wine in the EU. If you take a €7 bottle of wine in Ireland – 64% or €4.50 goes straight to the Government. 15 countries in the EU pay no tax on wine.
A one litre bottle of Jameson is €41.70 in The Loop in Dublin Airport of which the total tax is €24.83.