Tuesday 14 October 2008

Spirit-friendly Budget

Update Wednesday, Oct 15: I just heard the minister on the radio explaining why he didn't hike duty on spirits, though he wanted to. He was afraid that drinkers would slip over the border into Northern Ireland to buy their hooch in a lower tax jurisdiction. Thank you, Newry and HM Government! This must be the Peace Dividend we've heard about.

Today is Budget Day in Ireland, when the Minister for Finance gives you money with one hand while rifling your wallet with the other. Mostly the latter this year, since the economy has crashed (even without bailing out the banks).

Whiskey was mostly spared by the minister, however, as duty on spirits was left untouched (in contrast to wine and petrol which attracted big increases). We didn't get off entirely scot free (scotch free?) however, because the standard rate of VAT (kind of a sales tax) rose 0.5% to 21.5%. So a bottle of whiskey that had cost €50 should now rise to €50.21. A €100 bottle should now be €100.41.