Drinks industry warns of 40,000 fewer jobs in hospitality sector – Irish Examiner

The analysis, based on estimates from the latest industry employment report, shows that among the 40,000 fewer jobs are an estimated 12,700 15–24-year-olds and almost 22,000 women.
The Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI) is calling on the Government to lower Ireland’s excise tax rate by 7.5% as they predict 40,000 fewer hospitality jobs in 2022.
According to their research, the drinks and hospitality industry will employ 140,000 people in 2022, down from 180,000 in the final three months of 2019, despite ongoing economic recovery.
The analysis, based on estimates from the latest industry employment report, shows that among the 40,000 fewer jobs are an estimated 12,700 15–24-year-olds and almost 22,000 women.
DIGI says that people swapping staycations for overseas travel, consumer reluctance and the overall weaker demand for national and international travel means some Irish pubs, restaurants and hotels will not recover to their pre-pandemic levels next year.
Liam Reid, corporate relations director at Diageo and chair of DIGI, says Ireland’s high rate of excise is forcing drinks and hospitality businesses to make sacrifices and a reduction would allow the industry to “weather what is likely to be a difficult year”.
“At such a precarious time for the industry, every euro matters,” Mr Reid said.
“Money taken by the Government in excise tax is money that could be spent by pubs, hotels, and restaurants on recovery and investment.”
He said a 7.5% reduction would have an immediate impact and allow businesses to “maintain current staffing levels, hire new staff, invest in premises, and improve product and service offerings”.

According to the research, Dublin is likely to be the worst area affected with an estimated 11,690 fewer hospitality jobs in 2022, while rural communities will also suffer.
In the South West, which includes Cork and Kerry, 6,730 fewer jobs are predicted in an area where 8.9% of the adult population were employed by the drinks and hospitality industry pre-2020.
A similar situation is expected in other regions with 5,830 fewer jobs in the Mid-East, 3,730 in the West and 3,690 in the South-East.
DIGI believes it should be the Government and hospitality industry’s “collective goal” to avoid a two-tier recovery where several companies emerge from the pandemic relatively unscathed while “the most important domestic industries are left struggling”.
Mr Reid added: “Ireland has the highest excise on wine, the second-highest on beer, and the third-highest on spirits, despite us producing some of the world’s most famous drinks products and the importance of drinks and hospitality businesses to Irish tourism.
“Lowering excise tax on drinks products by 7.5% requires no new legislation or EU approval. The Government can do it quite literally overnight, with overnight benefits for drinks and hospitality business owners and their employees.”

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