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Is flat Irish wine tax of a euro a bottle illegal under EU rules?


patslatt

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The UK government wants to bring in a minimum price per bottle of alcohol to deter mindless antisocial behaviour by people who "preload" on cheap off licence alcohol before going late to the pub.The EU views this minimum pricing as anticompetitive and violating the principles of free trade. It is likely to take a similar view on the one euro Irish wine tax- a form of minimum pricing as it hits cheap Lidl wines as hard as champagnes. But shouldn't the need to curb antisocial drinking and unhealthy binge drinking override this?

The principle of free trade would be undermined if the tax is allowed. In any industry in the UK or Ireland threatened by low cost imports as many EU industries have been since the creation of the Common Market in the 1950s,imposing flat taxes on both low prices and high prices could have seen off a lot of the competition. When European clothing manufacturers were threatened by low cost Asian imports,a high flat tax on, say, all shirts could have given the European manufacturers a major competitive advantage.
 

TommyO'Brien

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Is flat Irish wine tax of a Euro a bottle illegal under EU rules?

No.

Next question.
 

Papillon

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No of course it isn't, by your logic every excise duty on everything would be illegal.
Every single EU member state charges excise on alcohol, tobacco and energy legally under council directive 2008/118/EC.

Also excise isn't minimum pricing, retailers don't have to pass the cost onto customers like the way Tesco and Lidl aren't applying the excise to their retail price of wine until the new year.
 

Tin Foil Hat

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Not illegal - Just stoopid.

Anyway, sparkling wine went up by €2. A little carbon dioxide dissolved into wine is clearly one of the largest contributors to all our social ills and needs to by stamped out immediately.

Newry better brace itself.
 

mary_queen_of_the_gael

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Why are you so upset about this tax? Your solution should be to drinker better wines but not so often. Related to this is the fact that cheap wines are very bad for you. If you have asthma, for example, you should never go near cheap whites as they are full of all kinds of muck that might send you to A&E.
There is a problem in both Britain and Ireland with binge drinking, particularly with the young and that must be stopped. Female life expectancies are falling quickly as more and more young women smoke and drink to excess.
The Irish government is merely seeing who it can screw to pay the unsecured bond holders and to guarantee their own futures. Wine, they would say, is well worth a tap.
 

ivnryn

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The UK government wants to bring in a minimum price per bottle of alcohol to deter mindless antisocial behaviour by people who "preload" on cheap off licence alcohol before going late to the pub.The EU views this minimum pricing as anticompetitive and violating the principles of free trade. It is likely to take a similar view on the one euro Irish wine tax- a form of minimum pricing as it hits cheap Lidl wines as hard as champagnes.
The point is that setting a minimum price prevents competing on price. Add EUR 1 to all bottles still allows price competition. A cheaper bottle is still cheaper if you add EUR 1 to everything.
 

patslatt

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The point is that setting a minimum price prevents competing on price. Add EUR 1 to all bottles still allows price competition. A cheaper bottle is still cheaper if you add EUR 1 to everything.
Relative price gap falls

Say prices of brands A and B before the tax are €7 and €12,the latter being 71.4% higher. After the €1 tax,the prices are €8 and €13 assuming no change in the markups,the latter now being 62.5% higher. So brand B is more price competitive by 9 percentage points thanks to the flat tax.
 

toconn

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Not sure on the OP point but I don't agree that Irish people drink any more than most of the other Northern Europeans such as the British , Germans , Dutch , Swedes etc and we're not even in the same league as the Russians , Poles etc.
 

Ribeye

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The UK government wants to bring in a minimum price per bottle of alcohol to deter mindless antisocial behaviour by people who "preload" on cheap off licence alcohol before going late to the pub.The EU views this minimum pricing as anticompetitive and violating the principles of free trade. It is likely to take a similar view on the one euro Irish wine tax- a form of minimum pricing as it hits cheap Lidl wines as hard as champagnes. But shouldn't the need to curb antisocial drinking and unhealthy binge drinking override this?

The principle of free trade would be undermined if the tax is allowed. In any industry in the UK or Ireland threatened by low cost imports as many EU industries have been since the creation of the Common Market in the 1950s,imposing flat taxes on both low prices and high prices could have seen off a lot of the competition. When European clothing manufacturers were threatened by low cost Asian imports,a high flat tax on, say, all shirts could have given the European manufacturers a major competitive advantage.
They're called "prinks":)

The EU.... Free Trade:):):):)

You appear to be located in the lower end of the yard,

Please extricate yourself to the other end, tooth sweet:):):)
 

lying eyes

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Now why would one be cribbing about a euro, on a bottle of wine. Sher do you not want to support all those useless Quangoes. Those Quangs give a second income to your betters, now, you would not like to see that changed would ya.
 

statsman

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[video=youtube;RBuo1vKUFbw]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBuo1vKUFbw[/video]
 

patslatt

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No of course it isn't, by your logic every excise duty on everything would be illegal.
Every single EU member state charges excise on alcohol, tobacco and energy legally under council directive 2008/118/EC.

Also excise isn't minimum pricing, retailers don't have to pass the cost onto customers like the way Tesco and Lidl aren't applying the excise to their retail price of wine until the new year.
Directive at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:009:0012:0030:EN:PDF

So why is the UK government having a row with the EU over minimum pricing on cheap booze when it could simply apply a stiff flat tax per litre?
 

statsman

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Hewson

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After reading a poster's comment earlier on cheap wines I had a look to see what exactly producers of the stuff might be getting up to.

I love good wine but any time I've had the cheap junk (usually in a bar) my nose goes out of business for the evening, leaving me with watery eyes and a voice like Jimmy Durante's.

It seems even Champagne isn't immune to abuse. This should be a criminal offense in a category of its own.

From the Telegraph.


In some cases producers employ water, sugar and sometimes hydrochloric acid to ensure their wine has a uniform taste and consistency.

The research into the quality of the 1.5 billion bottles consumed in Britain, for tonight's Channel 4 programme Dispatches, also cast doubt on the reputation of Champagne, with one expert suggesting that 70 per cent was not worth the premium price.

Malcolm Gluck, author of The Great Wine Swindle, said: "Many, many wines are no better than a sort of alcoholic cola. You get artificial yeasts, enzymes, sugar, extracts, tannins, all sorts of things added."

Many cheaper wines have oak chips added to give the impression that they have been aged in a traditional barrel.

Some of the most well-known new world brands use milk and enzymes to make the wine less cloudy and ensure that the wine tastes the same from one batch to the next.
More than 60 Beaujolais producers are due in court later this year accused of disguising low-quality grapes with excessive amounts of sugar.

In Italy 70 million litres was seized and was found to comprise just 20 per cent wine, the remainder being water, sugar and ingredients such as acid and fertiliser, used to boost the alcohol content to achieve a higher price.

The investigation found traces of fungicide in leading Champagne brands and discovered that experts struggled to distinguish between a £6.99 sparkling wine and a Champange three times the price.

Jancis Robinson, the wine writer, told the programme: "From my point of view perhaps about 30 per cent of all champagne is worth the money."

The British wine industry has fought to retain an exemption from food and drink labelling rules which means it does not have to list the additives.

John Corbet-Milward, spokesman for the Wine and Spirits Trade Association, said it is possible for drinkers to find out what is in their wine by talking to the maker or importer.
He said the use of different ingredients in varying quantities makes it difficult for producers to come up with an accurate label.
 

wombat

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Jun 16, 2007
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It would only be illegal if it was levied on French wine only, say.
There is only one thing preventing someone from making Irish wine - the climate. A failed winemaker explained that we can grow grapes but you need to harvest them in dry weather. There is a grey cover which appears on the grape which is a yeast which causes the fermentation. The rain washes it away, also wet grapes dilute the juice. The fact that you can't make wine here is not a legal ground for alleging a restriction on free trade.
 
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