Kilkenny Tourism: Must protect almost 3,000 jobs in hospitality says Brendan Treacy

Brian Keyes

Reporter:

Brian Keyes

 jobs in Kilkenny

Jobs in Kilkenny

A cut to Ireland’s alcohol excise tax could protect Kilkenny’s 2,822 hospitality sector jobs, according to local publican Brendan Treacy.
Ireland’s overall alcohol excise tax is the second highest in the European Union. By drink type, our wine excise is the highest; our beer excise is the second highest (behind Finland); and our spirits excise is the third highest (behind Finland and Sweden).
In Kilkenny alone, there are 191 pubs, 12 hotels, 40 restaurants, 55 off-licences, 7 wholesalers and 1 producer. Together, these businesses pay a €53.5million annual wage bill and support €77 million in tourism spend.

High excise tax punishes consumers, businesses and tourists alike by discouraging spending. Combined with the threat of Brexit, the hospitality sector, particularly in rural parts of the country, is vulnerable.
Mr Treacy, owner of Matt The Millers, Kilkenny City said: “The hospitality sector is a vital part of Kilkenny’s economic infrastructure. 2,822 local people depend on it for work. In many parts of the country, it is the major and often only employer.

“Tourists consistently rate the Irish pub and Irish pub culture as a top tourist attraction. However, a high alcohol excise tax works to actively undermine this by discouraging consumer spending, ultimately putting jobs at risk. Combined with Brexit, Ireland is already becoming expensive for our biggest tourism market, the UK.
“Staying internationally competitive is essential. We believe that it is of fundamental importance for the Government to not only formulate a long-term Brexit strategy with the hospitality sector and rural jobs at front and centre, but take positive steps now by reducing Ireland’s high alcohol excise tax in Budget 2018. This will not only ease the burden on consumers, but support local hospitality businesses in Kilkenny and create a more attractive tourism product.”
High excise tax punishes consumers, businesses and tourists alike by discouraging spending. Combined with Brexit, the hospitality sector, particularly in rural parts of the country, is vulnerable.