NOffLA CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO REDUCE EXCISE DUTY IN BUDGET 2021 TO SUPPORT WIDER DRINKS SECTOR
IRISH EXCISE RATES STILL AMONG HIGHEST IN EUROPE
The National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) has awarded its 2020-2021 Irish Wine Show Star Awards to 45 wines at its annual event on Monday. Now in its twentieth year, the winning wines from the Irish Wine Show Star Awards will be available to consumers all over the country from NOffLA outlets.
At the virtual ceremony, NOffLA again called on the Government to reduce excise duty in Budget 2021. With wine consumption falling by 1.4% in 2019 and Ireland’s excise rates among the highest in Europe, NOffLA has called for a reduction of 15%, in line with the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI), to support the wider drinks sector.
Speaking at the Awards, Gary O’Donovan, Chairman of NOffLA congratulated the winners saying that “this annual event allows us to celebrate some of the finest products sold by our highly-trained members around the country. NOffLA members are committed to excellence both in terms of personal service and the high-quality wines that we offer.
“However, this offering is under serious threat. Irish excise levels continue to impede the drinks sector in Ireland, particularly now when facing the economic challenges posed by both Covid-19 and Brexit in the near future. The sector has taken an unprecedented hit in recent months, with pubs, restaurants and suppliers severely disrupted by the pandemic. And with increasing uncertainty as to when business will return to normal, a reduction in excise is now paramount to keep the sector afloat.
“The austerity-related excise increases from 2012 continue to hamper our sector. Along with DIGI, we have called on the Minister for Finance to reduce excise duty by 15% in Budget 2021, to provide a much-needed lifeline for our drinks sector colleagues.
“NOffLA members are at the heart of our communities throughout the country. We serve as responsible and highly-knowledgeable local retailers that contribute through direct investment and local employment. We are calling on the Government to protect our local businesses that underpin communities all across Ireland.”
In excess of 600 wines were submitted to the Star Award adjudication panel of NOffLA judges and independent wine journalists. Points were awarded on the basis of appearance, smell, taste and value for money criteria, and the winning 15 were selected as the best wines from key suppliers across a number of price categories.
Each of the winning wines will be sold in NOffLA member outlets, of which there are more than 315 nationwide. The chosen wines will be recognisable by distinctive Award symbols on each bottle. In the pre-Christmas period NOffLA members will promote the Irish Wine Show Star Awards 2020-2021 Collection as ideal Christmas gifts, in a variety of special gift packs.