Tag Archives | vintners of ireland

VAT decrease didn’t do the UK any good. Any hope for Ireland?

This interesting article, Darling’s VAT cut ‘had no effect on consumer spending’, was published in the The Guardian recently.

Though we heard much of how the decrease in UK vat rates caused a greater influx of Irish grocery shoppers to Newry, Enniskillen and all points north of the border, it appears that it didn’t do much to cause UK consumers to spend more – as was originally hoped.

In a survey carried out by PriceWaterhouseCoopers:

The company interviewed 2,000 consumers and found that an overwhelming 88% said that the VAT cut had not prompted them to spend more on goods or services.

More interesting was the following statement:

The respondents also dismissed the measure as insignificant when compared with other economic factors, citing reduction in income and economic uncertainty as more potent influences on their spending.

With the Vintners Federation of Ireland calling on the government to cut VAT in order to save their own publican skins, one wonders what impact that actually would have here in Ireland.

Will a cut of VAT here in Ireland encourage you to spend more – in pubs or anywhere else? I’m guessing that we’ve got bigger problems to worry about at the moment.

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Self Regulation – MEAS proves that it’s really a waste of time

Two recent rulings by the organisation MEAS in response to complaints (details here) show the problem with self regulating industries.

One complaint was upheld against the Portobello pub where they had special offers on drinks, selling them for €4, because it was deemed to be a “happy hour” – though the promotion was for 4 hours.

Another complaint against the Burn Beach Club was rejected despite the fact that they were selling drinks for €2. This apparently is allowed, and not in contravention of any Meas self-imposed regulations.

I don’t know either the pub or nightclub concerned, but you’d have to agree with the pub manager, Paul Slevin, who is quoted as saying:

Mr Slevin said the laws needed tweaking to allow regular pubs to drum up trade, particularly during the recession and at a time when supermarkets and off-licences were offering massive cut-price promotions on alcoholic drinks.

The reason why one special offer is okay and the other isn’t is because Burn Beach Club makes their offer available all day, rather than only during a “happy hour”.

But think about it? How long is a nightclub open for? 4 hours per day?

What’s the difference really then?

For the record, I’ve never been in favour of the ban on happy hours, and the application of the self-regulatory rules imposed by MEAS as can be seen above makes no sense whatsoever.

For those who don’t know, MEAS is the Mature Enjoyment of Alcohol in Society Limited. According to its own blurb, “MEAS is committed to the promotion of the highest ethical standards within the Drinks Industry, and does not condone any misuse or abuse of alcohol.”

The website states that the member companies of MEAS are as follows – self regulation at it’s finest –

  • Beamish & Crawford plc*
  • C&C Group plc
  • Diageo Ireland
  • Drinks Industry Group of Ireland
  • Edward Dillon & Co. Ltd
  • Heineken Ireland
  • InBev Ireland
  • Irish Distillers Ltd
  • Licensed Vintners Association
  • Vintners’ Federation of Ireland
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Beware of business organisations crying wolf

I’ve written here before about how consumers should be careful when listening to business representative organisations pronouncements in the press.

If you’re listening to the SIMI warning about the dangers involved in consumers importing their own cars from the UK or Northern Ireland – you have to keep in the back of your mind the money aspect to this and the fact that they’re losing money every time a consumer successfully does so.

The latest that I heard in this genre of self-interested crying wolf was some vintners who are claiming that the prevalence of cheap booze that is for sale now in grocery stores is leading to an increase in violence against women in the home.

The claim seems to be in some sort of support for a reintroduction of a price control on the price of drink that disappeared with the removal of the Groceries Order. This was all covered in an episode of the Last Word on TodayFM last week.

Again, if you consider following the money, you’ll be aware that pubs are closing around the country from the lack of business and the fact that people are drinking more at home either because of the still high (and illegally frozen) price of drink as well as the smoking ban.

So, this scaremongering story (for God’s sake protect our women) is trying to get this cheap drink taken off the market so people will come back to their pubs.

How about dropping your prices, rather than freezing them at ridiculously high 2008 prices? That might show that you’re interested in getting us back in the pubs rather than these cheap stunts.

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