Financial Resolutions. - Financial Resolution No. 6: Customs and Excise—Spirits.

I move:

(1) That in this Resolution "the Act of 1969" means the Finance Act, 1969 (No. 21 of 1969).

(2) That the Finance Act, 1920, shall, as on and from the 29th day of April, 1971, be amended by the substitution in Part I of the First Schedule thereto of the matter set out in Part I of the Schedule to this Resolution for the matter inserted in the said Part of the said First Schedule by section 35 of the Act of 1969 and section 3 (1) of the said Finance Act, 1920, shall have effect accordingly.

(3) That—

(a) this paragraph applies to spirits known as whiskey which at importation are shown to the satisfaction of the Revenue Commissioners to have been wholly manufactured in Northern Ireland and to have been bottled and consigned by the distiller.

(b) the duties of customs to which paragraph (2) of this Resolution relates shall, as on and from the 29th day of April, 1971, be charged, levied and paid on spirits to which this paragraph applies at the rate of £15.373 the gallon (computed at proof) in lieu of the rate chargeable under paragraph (2) of this Resolution.

(c) section 35 (2) of the Act of 1969 is hereby repealed as on and from the 29th day of April, 1971.

(4) That—

(a) this paragraph applies to spirits, other than spirits mentioned in paragraph (3) of this Resolution, which at importation are shown to the satisfaction of the Revenue Commissioners to have been manufactured in, and consigned from, the United Kingdom and to have been manufactured therein from materials other than materials falling within Tariff Heading number 22.08 or Tariff Heading number 22.09 in the Schedule to the Imposition of Duties (No. 159) (Customs Duties and Form of Customs Tariff) Order, 1966 (S.I.No. 132 of 1966).

(b) the duties of customs to which paragraph (2) of this Resolution relates shall, as on and from the 29th day of April, 1971, be charged, levied and paid on spirits to which this paragraph applies at the rates set out in Part II of the Schedule to this Resolution in lieu of the rates chargeable under paragraph (2) of this Resolution.

(c) the provisions of section 8 of the Finance Act, 1919, shall not apply to the duties imposed by this paragraph,

(d) section 35 (3) of the Act of 1969 is hereby repealed as on and from the 29th day of April, 1971.

(e) in this paragraph the expression "the United Kingdom" means Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

(5) That the duty of excise imposed by section 3 (2) of the Finance Act, 1920, shall, as on and from the 29th day of April, 1971, be charged, levied and paid at the rate of £15.385 the gallon (computed at proof) in lieu of the rate chargeable by virtue of section 28 (1) of the Finance Act, 1970 (No. 14 of 1970).

(6) That nothing in this Resolution shall operate to relieve from or to prejudice or affect the additional customs duties or the additional excise duty in respect of immature spirits imposed by section 9 of the Finance Act, 1926 (No. 35 of 1926). (7) It is hereby declared that it is expedient in the public interest that this Resolution shall have statutory effect under the provisions of the Provisional Collection of Taxes Act, 1927 (No. 7 of 1927).

SCHEDULE.

SPIRITS (RATES OF ORDINARY CUSTOMS DUTY)

PART I.

Description of Spirits

Preferential Rates

Full Rates

(1)

(2)

(3)

£

£

For every gallon of Perfumed Spirits

32.067

32.267

For every gallon of liqueurs, cordials, mixtures and other preparations in bottle entered in such manner as to indicate that the strength is not to be tested

27.056

27.223

For every gallon computed at proof of spirits of any description not heretofore mentioned and mixtures and preparations containing spirits

20.042

20.167

PART II.

Description of Spirits

United Kingdom Rate

£

For every gallon of Perfumed Spirits

26.963

For every gallon of liqueurs, cordials, mixtures and other preparations in bottle entered in such manner as to indicate that the strength is not to be tested

22.75

For every gallon computed at proof of spirits of any description not heretofore mentioned and mixtures and preparations containing spirits

16.852

Can the Minister say if there is any differentiation, other than the existing one, between Irish and imported spirits or does this new tax apply at the same rate to Scotch whisky as it applies to Irish whiskey?

And brandies?

The impact of the new tax is the same on Scotch as on Irish whiskey but it is greater on, say, brandies or other imported spirits.

Will the Minister give us the existing tax on a glass of Irish whiskey, on a glass of Scotch whisky and on a glass of brandy because it would be well that people who drink would know what contribution they are making to the State when they purchase their drinks?

Perhaps the Minister would incorporate this in his reply also? I do not understand why the Minister said there is a bigger differential in relation to brandy. This is a tax on all spirits, is it not?

It is the same tax.

The reason is, the Deputy will recall——

I know that there is a differential already.

No, but the imposition of duty is being combined with a price increase and there is an allowance in the increase—the Exchequer taking so much, then the distillers and then the trade, but the distiller is not getting anything in the case of Scotch or brandy.

Or whiskey?

He is in the case of Irish whiskey but the trade is getting a differential share and that is the reason for the difference in the impost.

So far as the gullet down which it goes is it not the same?

Yes, I think that is true.

But when the Minister says a differential in respect of Irish, that is the existing differential?

The imposition of the duty proposed now is exactly the same on Irish as on Scotch but it is higher on brandy.

And what is the figure?

At the moment, pre-Budget, the duty content on a glass of Irish whiskey is 15.3 new pence, on Scotch whisky 16.9 new pence and on brandy 20.3 new pence.

That differential between Irish and Scotch is very small.

Yes, but it is governed by the Anglo-Irish Free Trade Area Agreement.

Question put and agreed to.