As the new minister for tax has announced, the UK has made some progress in reducing its trade with Ireland.
But Ireland’s drinks industry remains concerned.
Liquor taxes have not been levied on Irish alcohol since 2006, when they were introduced by the Government of Northern Ireland (GNI).
Since then, the Government has paid more than £5bn in excise duties and excise-related levies, according to figures obtained by The Irish Daily Times.
But the latest data reveals that the UK Government has only collected about £2bn of that tax, which is lower than the €9bn that was paid in 2008.
The Government’s decision to levy the new tax is expected to be seen as a setback to Irish craft brewers and distillers who have long complained about being left out of the tax calculus.
The GNI government has said it intends to pay the €2bn in levies that the new taxes will bring in in the coming years.
However, some distillate companies are concerned that the levies will put them at a competitive disadvantage.
Some brewers and the distillants industry have said the new levies are a major obstacle to their growth and job creation.
They have argued that if Irish tax rates are increased to match those of the UK, they will be forced to cut prices.
Irish distillant and brewer company Tully’s said the tax would make it “harder” to compete for the right to operate in the UK.
“The Irish government has been very clear that it wants to see us paid the same as the British government.
It’s not the right thing to do,” said Tully founder and chief executive Paul Derryn.”
We are not going to be able to survive without being paid the amount the British authorities are paying us.”
But we’re not going into the next recession without the revenue coming in.
“There’s a lot of money coming into the country, so the UK is not going away without us.”
Mr Derryngn said the Government’s tax would affect the growth of Ireland’s craft brewers, but that it was unlikely to have a significant effect on overall consumption.
“It’s not a huge impact on people who drink alcohol, but it’s a big impact on the producers, who are not as big as the breweries.”
People who drink are more likely to have bigger consumption and it’s an effect on what we’re doing.
“So I think this is probably going to have an impact on what the industry does, but I don’t think that’s a huge effect.”
He said the decision by the UK government to impose the tax was “a very small step in the right direction”.
The Irish Craft Beer Association said the levy was unfair and could lead to a rise in prices for Irish beers.
“I think the UK needs to have its own laws to regulate these things.
We have been very supportive of the Government,” said co-founder Patrick McKeown.”
And I think the Government is being very careful in how they’re going to legislate this.”
He added: “It’s going to hurt small craft brewers who are very small, and we are worried about what it means for the rest of the beer industry.”
The Government has not confirmed how much of the €4.4bn the levys are expected to cost, or how much is likely to be collected from the beer market.
The new Irish tax, to be paid by consumers, will take effect on March 31.